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ROUNDUP 2: Anti-brown coal protests in the Rhineland – Protesters in the opencast mine | message


(new: additional police information)

ERKELENZ / AACHEN (dpa-AFX) – In the Rhenish lignite mining district, climate protection activists demonstrated on Saturday for an immediate end to electricity generation from coal and gas. The police were in action with a large number of officials from several federal states. They were supposed to prevent the demonstrators from entering the Garzweiler opencast mine. The alliance at the end of the terrain and other organizations called for the actions. The end of the terrain spoke of 3,000 participants in the campaign.

At times, demonstrators managed to occupy facilities in the opencast mine and in the Weisweiler power plant near Aachen, the police reported. The operation of the plants was not restricted, said a spokesman for the energy company RWE. A spokeswoman for Endegebiet described the actions as “civil disobedience”.

To keep demonstrators away from the mine, the police occasionally used pepper spray and police dogs, as a police spokeswoman in Aachen confirmed. The demonstrators had previously ignored requests to stop walking towards the edge of the mine. The Aachen police chief Dirk Weinspach had announced a consistent intervention in violent and illegal actions.

After the end of the dispute over the Hambach Forest, the Garzweiler opencast mine has become the new center of the dispute over lignite. RWE wants to continue operating the mine until its last lignite power plant is shut down in 2038. Several villages should give way to the excavators. The energy company points out that the coal phase-out law provides a guarantee of existence for Garzweiler.

The All Villages Remain initiative mobilized on Saturday with a protest march against the dismantling plans. Demonstrators occupied an abandoned restaurant in Keyenberg on Saturday. They accused RWE of systematically dividing village communities. According to information from RWE, the resettlement of the 1500 residents of the villages is already well advanced. Most of them would have decided to start over together.

This time the protests are not just directed against lignite. Around 150 demonstrators also moved in front of a gas power plant in Düsseldorf, as the police confirmed. In addition, demonstrators occupied a construction site for a new pipeline between the Netherlands and Westphalia. Gas is also “extremely harmful to the climate,” said a spokeswoman for Ende Terrain. Therefore all fossil energies must be phased out immediately.

On Friday tens of thousands of people in Germany took to the streets for climate protection at the request of Fridays for Future. All over the world, the demonstrators called for the phasing out of the use of coal and oil to be accelerated in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees – from the point of view of scientists, a radical change of direction would be absolutely necessary ./hff/DP/nas


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