70 police officers injured in Lützerath operation
Created: 01/15/2023 10:36 am
At nightfall, activists are pushed back by a broad police chain on the field during a demonstration by climate activists on the edge of the opencast lignite mine near Lützerath.
© Henning Kaiser/dpa
According to the police on Sunday, more than 70 police officers were injured in the course of the evacuation of the village of Lützerath, which has been ongoing since Wednesday.
A police spokesman said most of them were injured during the protests by coal opponents on Saturday.
The injuries were only partly due to violence by demonstrators.
Erkelenz - Some of the officials, for example, also twisted their ankles in the muddy ground.
Demonstrators were also injured.
No one knows how many there are.
Since the start of the evacuation of Lützerath on Wednesday, around 150 criminal proceedings have been initiated, for example for resistance against police officers, physical harm and breach of the peace.
A spokeswoman for the activist group "Lützerath Leben" raised serious allegations against the police on Sunday.
At the demo on Saturday there was "an unbelievable level of police violence," she said.
One person from the ranks of the demonstrators was taken to the hospital in a life-threatening condition.
The procedure for the evacuation of Lützerath itself was rabid and ruthless.
"It's a miracle there haven't been any deaths here," the spokeswoman said.
The police deny this allegation and assure them that they will proceed with extreme caution.
The village of Lützerath, a district of Erkelenz west of Cologne, has been cordoned off by the police for days and is surrounded by a double fence.
The few buildings in the settlement will be demolished to enable the energy company RWE to excavate the lignite underneath.
On the other hand, many thousands of people demonstrated in the neighboring district of Keyenberg on Saturday.
The police spoke of 15,000 participants, the organizers estimated the number at 35,000.
On the fringes of the demonstration, there were clashes between demonstrators and the police.