The police have begun to clear the town of Lützerath, which is occupied by activists protesting the mining of brown coal in the area. The operation, involving hundreds of officers, has resulted in scuffles and several activists have been arrested. Activists had barricaded themselves in the town, and had used molotov cocktails to fend off the police.
The energy company RWE, which plans to extract coal from the area, has called for nonviolence and urged the activists to leave the area. The police have also announced that those who leave now will not face consequences. The town of Lützerath is located in western Germany, and is adjacent to a brown coal mine. The goal of the operation is to clear the area to allow RWE to begin mining the coal. The mining company has stated that they will not use violence against police or activists, but they want the illegal occupation of the area to be ended peacefully.
The eviction is the result of a plan presented by the German economy minister and the local government of North Rhine-Westphalia, which aims to phase out brown coal mining in the state by 2030, in an effort to combat climate change.