Busloads of climate protesters arrived on Saturday in the area around the abandoned town of Lützerath in western Germany. According to the organizers, tens of thousands of protesters are expected to join, while the police expect 8,000.
The small town, located just west of Düsseldorf, came into focus last year when the government decided to sacrifice it to expand the giant Garzweiler lignite mine.
Climate protesters have occupied Lützerath for over two years.
On Wednesday, the town was surrounded by riot police. Saturday’s demonstrations are therefore primarily held in the nearby village of Keyenberg and in the fields between the towns.
However, several protesters are reported to have made it through the barricades, the police write on Twitter.
In order to get permission to destroy Lützerath and surrounding towns, the energy giant RWE was forced to agree to end coal mining by 2030, when renewable energy has been sufficiently developed. But according to the climate movement, the mine is already unnecessary today, and several experts agree.
The government claims that the decision is necessary because of the energy crisis that started with the war in Ukraine, but the issue has become big politics and is dividing, among other things, the government party The Greens.
German police at the demonstration.
Greta Thunberg tells a German news agency that it looks like Mordor around Lützerath, referring to Sauron’s dark realm in the “Lord of the Rings” fantasy trilogy, reports Today’s news.
“It is totally absurd that this is happening in 2023. We have to keep the carbon in the ground,” says Thunberg in a clip on SVT.