As police move on protesters, the German coal mine stalemate intensifies.
In a standoff over the construction of a coal mine, German police have started evicting climate protesters from a deserted community.
Officers in riot gear entered Luetzerath on Wednesday morning, where hundreds of protesters had camped out in an effort to halt the expansion of the nearby RWE-operated Garzweiler coal mine.
In a standoff that exemplifies the conflicts surrounding Germany's climate policies, activists have been attempting to stop the village from being bulldozed to make room for the opencast lignite mine for the past two years.
Bulldozing Luetzerath, according to environmentalists, would produce enormous volumes of greenhouse gas emissions, but according to the government and RWE, coal is necessary to maintain Germany's energy security.
On Wednesday, the demonstrators erected a makeshift blockade out of abandoned shipping containers, formed human chains, and screamed, "We are here, we are loud, because you are stealing our future."
Beer bottles were hurled at the police by several protesters. The police reported that they were also attacked with stones and Molotov bombs.
From Luetzerath, Step Vaessen reported that the demonstrators were "holding firm."
She claimed, "[Police] are in the streets where the few remaining houses in Luetzerath are still standing." The village's residents long ago dispersed, but climate activists have been living there for the past two years.
Due to the numerous settlements that had to be destroyed over the years to make room for this mine, she claimed that Luetzerath had become "an international emblem for the struggle against climate change."
Now Luetzerath must depart as well; the government has made that decision.
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