Demonstrators on the edge of the Garzweiler brown coal mine:
Photo: David Young / dpa
North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul (CDU) plans to clear the location of Lützerath at the Garzweiler opencast mine, which is occupied by climate activists, with a large-scale operation.
The police there "can't proceed in slices with individual operations," said Reul in the Düsseldorf state parliament.
That doesn't solve the problem.
"In the end, Lützerath has to be empty and that can only be done with an overall operation, in which firstly the barricades are removed, secondly the people are moved, thirdly all the houses are demolished and the trees cleared - i.e. the occupation infrastructure is eliminated," announced the Minister of the Interior.
"Otherwise we'll be occupied again immediately and we'll start all over again."
Reul said: "It'll all take a while, nobody's going to answer it in a hurry.
It has to be done thoroughly.« People's lives are not put at risk.
Aachen's chief of police recently ruled out an operation this year.
In the houses of Lützerath, whose former residents have moved away, there are activists who want to "fight" for the place.
At the beginning of October, the Green-led economics ministries in the federal government and North Rhine-Westphalia agreed with the energy company RWE to phase out coal in the Rhenish Revier by 2030.
Five largely abandoned villages at the open-pit mine remain, but Lützerath is to be dredged for coal extraction.