German Police Clear Barricades in a Village That Demonstrators have occupied for Two Years


German police began clearing barricades around the occupied village of Lützerath on Tuesday morning. The occupiers try to prevent this by sitting on high poles that are difficult to remove and forming human blockades.


The police use a cherry picker to get people out of high wooden structures. Then, a bulldozer tries to push aside the barricades around the ‘lignite village’.

The village has been occupied for more than two years to prevent energy group RWE from wiping it off the face of the earth to extract lignite. RWE’s huge lignite machine is already digging near the edge of the village. That is a thorn in the side of the occupiers, given the consequences of burning lignite for global warming. According to the activists, more than three hundred villages in Germany have disappeared for lignite mining in the past thirty years. With the occupation of Lützerath, they want to turn the tide.

Around 9:30 am, the occupiers reported that the police were carrying activists to break through the human blockades. But several hundred occupiers try to surround and push back the police. The action police anticipate an evacuation of the occupied village. The police said on Tuesday morning that the eviction had not yet started. It is only about removing the barricades, according to the police.

The police are waiting for a meeting for Erkelenz residents, including Lützerath. They will be updated on Tuesday evening by the police and government about what will happen in the village and why this would be necessary. Once that is over, the eviction can start on Wednesday or the following days.

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