Police start clearing German village condemned for coal mine

Jan 10, 2023, 9:42 AM | Updated: Jan 11, 2023, 10:36 pm
Police officers lead away a protestor at the village Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday,...

Police officers lead away a protestor at the village Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

(AP Photo/Michael Probst)

              Police officers lead away a protestor at the village Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officer guards the demolition edge of the open pit mine Garzweiler at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activists stand of a roof top at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist hangs at a rope at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers surround climate protesters sitting on the ground at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police on Wednesday moved into a condemned village in western Germany, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              A climate activist hangs from a wire as police officers stand by, right, in a camp of climate protesters in the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers enter a camp of climate protestors at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              A caravan is taken from a road at the village Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A protester writhes in pain as she’s pinned down by police officers trying to clear a blocked road at the Luetzerath village near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police in riot gear began evicting climate activists Wednesday from the condemned village that is due to be demolished for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Frank Jordans)
            
              Police officers enters a camp of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Workers of the German energy company RWE take down the place sign at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officers clear a blocked road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist has entrenched himself in a car, presumably chained, and is freed by police forces using a hydraulic spreader and a flex, in Luetzerath, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Environmental activists have been locked in a standoff with police who started eviction operations on Wednesday in the hamlet of Luetzerath, west of Cologne, that's due to be bulldozed for the expansion of a nearby lignite mine. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)
            
              Climate activists sit on a barn roof and are brought down by height climbers of the police, in Luetzerath, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police in riot gear began evicting climate activists Wednesday from the condemned village in western Germany that is due to be demolished for the expansion of a coal mine. Environmentalists say bulldozing the village to expand the nearby Garzweiler coal mine would result in huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)
            
              Climate activists sit in so-called tripos and block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers lead away a protestor at the village Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officer guards the demolition edge of the open pit mine Garzweiler at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activists stand of a roof top at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist hangs at a rope at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers surround climate protesters sitting on the ground at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police on Wednesday moved into a condemned village in western Germany, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              A climate activist hangs from a wire as police officers stand by, right, in a camp of climate protesters in the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers enter a camp of climate protestors at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              A caravan is taken from a road at the village Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A protester writhes in pain as she’s pinned down by police officers trying to clear a blocked road at the Luetzerath village near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police in riot gear began evicting climate activists Wednesday from the condemned village that is due to be demolished for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Frank Jordans)
            
              Police officers enters a camp of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Workers of the German energy company RWE take down the place sign at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officers clear a blocked road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist has entrenched himself in a car, presumably chained, and is freed by police forces using a hydraulic spreader and a flex, in Luetzerath, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Environmental activists have been locked in a standoff with police who started eviction operations on Wednesday in the hamlet of Luetzerath, west of Cologne, that's due to be bulldozed for the expansion of a nearby lignite mine. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)
            
              Climate activists sit on a barn roof and are brought down by height climbers of the police, in Luetzerath, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police in riot gear began evicting climate activists Wednesday from the condemned village in western Germany that is due to be demolished for the expansion of a coal mine. Environmentalists say bulldozing the village to expand the nearby Garzweiler coal mine would result in huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)
            
              Climate activists sit in so-called tripos and block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers lead away a protestor at the village Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officer guards the demolition edge of the open pit mine Garzweiler at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activists stand of a roof top at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist hangs at a rope at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers surround climate protesters sitting on the ground at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police on Wednesday moved into a condemned village in western Germany, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              A climate activist hangs from a wire as police officers stand by, right, in a camp of climate protesters in the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers enter a camp of climate protestors at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              A caravan is taken from a road at the village Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A protester writhes in pain as she’s pinned down by police officers trying to clear a blocked road at the Luetzerath village near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police in riot gear began evicting climate activists Wednesday from the condemned village that is due to be demolished for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Frank Jordans)
            
              Police officers enters a camp of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Workers of the German energy company RWE take down the place sign at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officers clear a blocked road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist has entrenched himself in a car, presumably chained, and is freed by police forces using a hydraulic spreader and a flex, in Luetzerath, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Environmental activists have been locked in a standoff with police who started eviction operations on Wednesday in the hamlet of Luetzerath, west of Cologne, that's due to be bulldozed for the expansion of a nearby lignite mine. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)
            
              Climate activists sit on a barn roof and are brought down by height climbers of the police, in Luetzerath, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police in riot gear began evicting climate activists Wednesday from the condemned village in western Germany that is due to be demolished for the expansion of a coal mine. Environmentalists say bulldozing the village to expand the nearby Garzweiler coal mine would result in huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)
            
              Climate activists sit in so-called tripos and block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers lead away a protestor at the village Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officer guards the demolition edge of the open pit mine Garzweiler at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officers clear a blocked road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activists stand of a roof top at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist hangs at a rope at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers surround climate protesters sitting on the ground at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police on Wednesday moved into a condemned village in western Germany, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              A climate activist hangs at a rope at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Climate activists sit in so-called tripos and block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist hangs from a wire as police officers stand by, right, in a camp of climate protesters in the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers enter a camp of climate protestors at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              A caravan is taken from a road at the village Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A protester writhes in pain as she’s pinned down by police officers trying to clear a blocked road at the Luetzerath village near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police in riot gear began evicting climate activists Wednesday from the condemned village that is due to be demolished for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Frank Jordans)
            
              Police officers enters a camp of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers try to take a climate activist out of a car used a roadblock in the village of Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police on Wednesday moved into a condemned village in western Germany, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              Workers of the German energy company RWE take down the place sign at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officers clear a blocked road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers lead away a protestor at the village Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officer guards the demolition edge of the open pit mine Garzweiler at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officers clear a blocked road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activists stand of a roof top at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist hangs at a rope at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers surround climate protesters sitting on the ground at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police on Wednesday moved into a condemned village in western Germany, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              A climate activist hangs at a rope at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Climate activists sit in so-called tripos and block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist hangs from a wire as police officers stand by, right, in a camp of climate protesters in the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers enter a camp of climate protestors at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              A caravan is taken from a road at the village Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers enters a camp of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers try to take a climate activist out of a car used a roadblock in the village of Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police on Wednesday moved into a condemned village in western Germany, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              Workers of the German energy company RWE take down the place sign at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officers clear a blocked road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officers clear a blocked road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activists block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activists stand of a roof top at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officer guards the demolition edge of the open pit mine Garzweiler at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist hangs at a rope at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers stand in front of a baricade of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers enter a camp of climate protestors at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers surround climate protesters sitting on the ground at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police on Wednesday moved into a condemned village in western Germany, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              A climate activist hangs at a rope at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Climate activists sit in so-called tripos and block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist hangs from a wire as police officers stand by, right, in a camp of climate protesters in the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers try to take a climate activist out of a car used a roadblock in the village of Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police on Wednesday moved into a condemned village in western Germany, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers carry away a protester at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers enters a camp of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officers clear a blocked road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activists block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activists stand of a roof top at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A police officer guards the demolition edge of the open pit mine Garzweiler at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist hangs at a rope at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers stand in front of a baricade of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers enter a camp of climate protestors at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers surround climate protesters sitting on the ground at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police on Wednesday moved into a condemned village in western Germany, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              A climate activist hangs at a rope at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Climate activists sit in so-called tripos and block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              A climate activist hangs from a wire as police officers stand by, right, in a camp of climate protesters in the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers try to take a climate activist out of a car used a roadblock in the village of Luetzerath, near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police on Wednesday moved into a condemned village in western Germany, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers carry away a protester at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers enters a camp of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers stand inside a camp of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers stand in front of a baricade of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers enters a camp of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers stand in a camp of climate protestors at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers stand in a camp of climate protestors at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers stand in a camp of climate protestors at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers carry away a protester at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Climate activists climb on trees and sit in tree houses at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Climate activists sit in so-called tripos and block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Climate activists sit in so-called tripos and block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Climate activists sit in so-called tripos and block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Police officers stand in front of an protestor in a camp of climate activists at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers stand in a camp of climate protestors at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Police have entered the condemned village in, launching an effort to evict activists holed up at the site in an effort to prevent its demolition to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.  (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              Police officers stand in front of a climate activist inside the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. The The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. Banner reads: "From here on only people with conscience". (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)
            
              Climate activist stand in front of police officers in riot gear at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Climate activist block a road at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Climate activist stand in front of police officers in riot gear at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Climate activist stand in front of police officers in riot gear at the village Luetzerath near Erkelenz, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.The village of Luetzerath is occupied by climate activists fighting against the demolishing of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine near the Dutch border. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

LUETZERATH, Germany (AP) — Police in riot gear began evicting climate activists Wednesday from a condemned village in western Germany that is due to be demolished for the expansion of a coal mine.

Some stones and fireworks were thrown as officers entered the tiny hamlet of Luetzerath, which has become a flashpoint of debate over the country’s climate efforts, on Wednesday morning.

Police spokesman Andreas Mueller said the attacks on officers were “not nice” but noted that most of the protest so far had been peaceful.

He said police would stick to their tactic of trying to avoid any escalation by offering to let any activists who leave on their own accord to do so without facing further police measures or prosecution.

Still, some protesters complained of undue force by police and others said the scale of the police response — with officers brought in from across the country and water cannons on standby — was itself a form of escalation not justified by the peaceful protest. At least one woman screamed in apparent pain as officers used force to remove her from a roadblock outside the village.

By Wednesday afternoon dozens of activists remained camped out in Luetzerath, some in elaborate tree houses, as police slowly moved through the village clearing barricades and a communal soup kitchen.

Some activists read books or played accordion while perched atop 10-foot (3-meter) tripods. A few sat or stood on the roofs of Luetzerath’s remaining buildings despite the chilly wind.

“I’m really afraid today,” Petra Schumann, a 53-year-old local who had been at the site for several days, said from a top-floor window of one of the few remaining houses. Schumann said she still held out hope of preserving what’s left of Luetzerath “until nothing is left standing; hope dies last.”

Environmentalists say bulldozing the village to expand the nearby Garzweiler coal mine would result in huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. The government and utility company RWE argue the coal is needed to ensure Germany’s energy security.

However, a study by the German Institute for Economic Research calls into question the government’s stance. Its authors found other existing coal fields could be used instead, though the cost to RWE would be greater.

Another alternative would be for Germany to increase production of renewable power, cut demand through energy efficiency measures, or import more coal or gas from abroad, the study found.

Citing the study and the urgent need to curb global carbon emissions, protesters refused to heed a court ruling Monday that effectively banned them from the area.

Some activists expressed particular anger at the environmentalist Green party, which is part of both the regional and national governments that reached a deal with RWE last year allowing it to destroy the village in return for ending coal use by 2030, rather than 2038.

Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, a Green who is Germany’s economy and climate minister, defended the agreement as “a good decision for climate protection” that fulfills many of the environmentalists’ demands and saves five other villages from demolition.

“I think climate protection and protests need symbols but the empty hamlet of Luetzerath, where no one lives any more, is the wrong symbol from my point of view,” Habeck told reporters in Berlin.

Climate campaigners counter that expanding a massive open-cast coal mine goes against Germany’s international commitments to reduce emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases. The country is expected to miss its ambitious targets for the second year in a row.

Luetzerath “is now the European place of crystallization for the climate movement,” said Lakshmi Thevasagayam, a spokeswoman for the Luetzerath Lives activist group. “We know that the coal under Luetzerath isn’t needed for energy security — it must remain in the ground so that we can achieve climate justice.”

“Now we can do something against the climate catastrophe, but at some point we won’t be able to any more,” Thevasagayam said. She accused that police of engaging in “a complete escalation” by moving ahead with the eviction Wednesday.

RWE said in a statement that a 1.5-kilometer (nearly one-mile) fence will be built around the site. It appealed to activists to peacefully “end the illegal occupation” of the site it legally owns.

Andreas Mueller, the police spokesman, said authorities were prepared for the eviction operation to last weeks, if necessary.

The heads of several environmental organizations planned to visit Luetzerath on Thursday to express solidarity with the activists there. A large protest was also scheduled near the site Saturday, attended by prominent Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg.

___

Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.

___

This version has corrected the surname of a protester to Schumann, sted Mueller.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Protesters gather in front of police headquarters while marching Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Memphi...
Associated Press

Memphis police disband unit that fatally beat Tyre Nichols

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis police chief disbanded the city’s so-called Scorpion unit on Saturday, citing a “cloud of dishonor” from newly released video that showed some of its officers beating Tyre Nichols to death after stopping the Black motorist. Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis acted a day after the harrowing video emerged, saying […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Turkey issues travel warning to Europe following protests

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey issued a travel warning late Saturday for its citizens living in or planning on going to European countries, citing Islamophobia and anti-Turkish demonstrations. The warning comes after last weekend’s protests in Sweden where an anti-Islam activist burned the Quran and pro-Kurdish groups protested against Turkey. The Turkish foreign ministry urged its […]
1 day ago
Oleksandra Hryhoryna inspects her house which was damaged by shelling last fall in Kalynivske, Ukra...
Associated Press

Russians gone from Ukraine village, fear and hardship remain

KALYNIVSKE, Ukraine (AP) — When night falls in Tatiana Trofimenko’s village in southern Ukraine, she pours sunflower oil that aid groups gave her into a jar and seals it with a wick-fitted lid. A flick of a match, and the make-do candle is lit. “This is our electricity,” Trofimenko, 68, says. It has been over […]
1 day ago
Rescue workers collect remains from the burnt wreckage of a bus accident in Bela, an area of Lasbel...
Associated Press

Passenger bus in Pakistan crashes, catches fire killing 40

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A passenger bus fell into a ravine and caught fire killing 40 people in southern Pakistan on Sunday, a government official said. The bus was carrying 44 passengers from Quetta in Balochistan province to Karachi in neighboring Sindh province. The accident was near the town of Bela, in Lasbela district. Hamza […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History: JAN 29, Prohibition launches

Today in History Today is Sunday, Jan. 29, the 29th day of 2023. There are 336 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 29, 1936, the first inductees of baseball’s Hall of Fame, including Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, were named in Cooperstown, New York. On this date: In 1820, King […]
1 day ago
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., is seen in the U.S. Capitol, July 14, 2022, in Washington.  Gallego sa...
Associated Press

Gallego holds first events of Arizona Senate campaign

PHOENIX (AP) — Democrat Ruben Gallego held the first public events of his U.S. Senate campaign Saturday, taking aim at independent incumbent Kyrsten Sinema and casting his candidacy in a patriotic appeal to the American dream. The fifth-term congressman recounted his journey from a poor family in Chicago to cleaning toilets as a Harvard student […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Police start clearing German village condemned for coal mine