In Germany, on Saturday January 14, thousands of anti-coal activists from western Germany mobilized against the plan to expand an open-pit coal mine, which foresees the disappearance of the village of Lützerath, in the Rhine basin, between Düsseldorf and Cologne. The place, which has become a symbol of resistance to fossil fuels, attracted thousands of protesters on Saturday, including Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
The tense face-to-face between demonstrators and security forces on the site, as spectacular as it is dangerous, of this lignite mine continued until nightfall despite the rain, mud and wind blowing in storm, observed by AFP journalists.
Earlier in the afternoon, clashes took place between police and activists who tried to cross the barriers to enter the Lützerath mining site (Germany). The demonstrators refuse the destruction of this village, which must allow the extension of a coal mine.
In total, the movement’s organizers claimed that 35,000 people had gathered in the village in recent days (15,000 according to the police). This is the second evacuation organized by the German police in less than a week. Last Wednesday, the forced evacuation prompted pro-climate activists to gather outside the office of environmental vice-chancellor Robert Habeck.
Environmental activists on Sunday accused security forces of having “violently” repressed their demonstration the day before, which degenerated into clashes in which dozens of police and demonstrators were injured.
A spokeswoman for protest organisers, Indigo Drau, accused police at a press conference of ‘pure violence’, saying officers beat the activists ‘without restraint’, including hitting them on the head .
The Lützerath lebt collective! reported on Saturday dozens of wounded, some seriously, in the ranks of the militants. Twenty of them were hospitalized, according to a nurse from the militant group, Birte Schramm.
The situation on the ground had become “very calm” again on Sunday, according to the police.
There were only two of them, entrenched in a tunnel dug under the village. The last environmental activists protesting against the extension of the open-pit mine in Lützerath, Germany, were dislodged by police on Monday. The two activists, who had taken refuge underground for several days, came to the surface at the end of the morning. This event puts an end to a vast police operation, aimed at evacuating the demonstrators from the site, which has been occupied since Wednesday.