Activists are still fighting to preserve the village of Lützerath in the coalfields of North Rhine-Westphalia. But in January, the country wants to evacuate the place during a large-scale operation, take away the squatters and demolish the houses that are still standing.
North Rhine-Westphalia's Interior Minister Herbert Reul from the CDU announced on Thursday a large-scale operation in which squatters would be taken away, barricades removed, houses demolished and trees cleared in one fell swoop. According to the ministry spokesman, the responsible municipality, i.e. the city of Erkelenz, must contact the police with a request for enforcement.
Lützerath is to be dredged for coal production. Activists who want to fight for the place live in the houses whose former residents have moved away. At the beginning of October, the Green-led economics ministries in the federal government and North Rhine-Westphalia agreed with the energy company RWE to phase out coal in the Rhenish Revier by 2030.