Activists leave the tunnel under Lützerath: the end of the eviction
Created: 2023-01-16Updated: 2023-01-16, 2:37 p.m
Demolition work after the evacuation in Lützerath.
The end of Lützerath is getting closer and closer: After two activists left an underground tunnel, the evacuation of the settlement for coal mining can be considered over.
RWE now wants to complete the "dismantling" soon.
Erkelenz - Five days after the start of the evacuation of Lützerath, two remaining climate activists left an underground tunnel under the settlement.
The end of the former village on the edge of the Garzweiler brown coal mine in western North Rhine-Westphalia is imminent.
Both the energy company RWE and a spokeswoman for the activist initiative "Lützerath Lebt" announced on Monday that the eviction had ended.
According to its own statements, RWE wants to complete the "dismantling" of Lützerath in the coming days.
The two activists in the underground tunnel, which they apparently built themselves, were believed to be the last occupants of the village, which is to be dredged to extract coal.
Other activists had already left the settlement in the days before or had been taken away by the police.
At first it was not foreseeable how long it would take to bring the activists in the tunnel out into the open.
The RWE plant fire brigade took over the action described as "rescue".
On Monday, everything suddenly happened quite quickly.
In the end, the two activists left voluntarily, explained RWE.
One was "relieved" that the "life-threatening situation" had ended in this way.
"A rescue from the tunnel against the announced resistance of the people would have been associated with high risks, also for the rescue workers," it said.
Experts were brought in to convince the two to get out of the tunnel themselves.
The Lützerath activists also said on Twitter that the two people had left the tunnel “themselves”.
"A thousand thanks for your life-threatening action against lignite and capitalism," they wrote.
"The two definitely want to say to the public: They are well aware of what they have done," said a spokeswoman for the "Lützerath Lebt" initiative.
They were well prepared for their situation and could actually have stayed longer.
“They seemed physically fit to me at first,” she said.
According to their information, they are now allowed to leave the premises and move freely.
The two activists themselves did not initially speak to journalists.
It was initially unclear how long the two had stayed in the tunnel.
A video of two masked people on the YouTube platform had caused a stir since Thursday.
"Pinky" and "Brain" stated that they were in a tunnel under Lützerath.
The tunnel is a very effective form of defense against eviction, they argued.
It is much more difficult to clear a tunnel than a tree house, for example.
According to RWE, the two left Lützerath "as the last activists".
The police clearance has ended.
The dismantling of the former settlement will be completed "in the coming days".
The spokeswoman for "Lützerath Lebt" also said: "Of course, this means for us that this eviction, which we have been able to observe for the past few days, is over for the time being." Although you may have lost to the "massive police presence", you have but also gained a lot.
Lützerath is now known throughout Germany.
The village, 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.
However, resistance had formed against the demolition and the planned excavation of the coal.