Police cordon off Lützerath: access soon only on foot
Created: 12/26/2022, 9:46 am
By: Peter Seven
Police operation in the opencast mining village of Lützerath.
Activists occupy houses there to demonstrate against the demolition of the hamlet and the lignite mining by RWE.
© Federico Gambarini/dpa
Lützerath is to be evacuated in January: But the resistance is great, and memories of the Hambach Forest are gradually waking up.
Erkelenz – Lützerath is alive.
The occupied village at the Garzweiler opencast mine is to be cleared and demolished at the beginning of 2023 so that the energy company RWE can excavate the lignite underneath.
Gradually, there are increasing signs of exactly when the eviction should start – and that it will take a very long time.
Lützerath evacuation: Information event in Erkelenz
Theoretically, the responsible Aachen police could evacuate the Heinsberg district as early as January 10, in accordance with the eviction order.
But on that day there is to be an information event in Erkelenz about the Lützerath eviction: Among other things, the Heinsberg district administrator Stephan Pusch and Aachen's police chief Dirk Weinspach will be there.
So there will probably not be any evacuation before January 11th.
But already at the beginning of January there will be an increased police presence.
From January 2nd, nobody will be able to drive to Lützerath by car - you can only get to the village on foot.
This is what the abandoned villages around Lützerath look like today
View photo gallery
Large demo planned at the Garzweiler opencast mine
Meanwhile, a large demo at the mine is planned for January 14th.
Thousands of people are expected, some of whom may want to join the squatters in the Lützerath camp.
It is conceivable that the police will intervene beforehand - and the actual eviction will happen sometime between January 11th and 14th.
The people who are still in Lützerath are already acting illegally: the district of Heinsberg made this clear in a general decree a few days ago.
There are still between 80 and 150 people on site - sometimes there are more, sometimes fewer.
You announced resistance.
"We will defend Lützerath with our bodies," says Ronni Zepplin, spokeswoman for the "Lützerath is alive" initiative.
Activists announce resistance in Lützerath
The formulations of the action alliance “Ende Gelände” sound more drastic: “We will fight for Lützerath as we defended the Hambach Forest.
Anyone who attacks Lützerath will pay a high price," it said.
And someone wrote the unmistakable sentence with a felt pen on the sign at the end of the town of Lützerath: “Bulle?
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
Similar to the Hambach Forest, the activists in the Lützerath camp also live in tree houses.
© Peter Seven
The residents of Lützerath built tree houses, dug trenches and set up barricades.
“We will make it as difficult as possible for the police to even get into the camp.
We will set up barricades and build obstacles that are as high as possible, which will make it even more difficult for the police," says activist Mara Sauer.
Memories of the Hambach Forest
This brings back memories of the Hambach Forest, where activists used similar methods to resist for months.
"Yes, there are definitely parallels to this," said a spokeswoman for the Aachen police when asked.
Just a few weeks ago, NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) announced a "total operation", so to speak, the occupied opencast mining village should be cleared and demolished in one go.
But it probably won't go that fast.
"We expect the operation to last four to six weeks," said the police spokeswoman.
All of Germany looks to Lützerath
During this time, all of Germany will be looking at the small village at the Garzweiler opencast mine.
You want to avoid escalations like in the Hambach Forest, there are also differences: The groups in Lützerath are “more middle-class”, according to the Aachen police.
The camp people, on the other hand, say that the aggression came from the police and not from them.
For tactical reasons, the spokeswoman did not want to say how many officers would be deployed during the evacuation.
But one thing is clear: there will not only be forces from Aachen, but also from surrounding cities such as Cologne.