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(en) Italy, Galatea FAI: A village cleared for coal. The defense of Lützerath in Germany (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Mon, 23 Jan 2023 09:00:51 +0200

Free transcription and translation of "A village to be evicted for coal - the defense of Luetzerath in Germany". Anarchistisches Radio Berlin - 7 January 2023. Interview with an activist of the Lützerath occupation. ---- 2023 has arrived for a few days and we are already dealing with the first eviction of a radical occupation. But we are not just talking about the eviction of an occupation, but about the eviction of an entire village: the village of Lützerath. ---- This village is located in an area rich in coal deposits, close to the Dutch border. ---- We talked to a media-activist member of Radio Aalpunk ---- What is Lützerath and why is he being attacked by the police? ---- Lützerath is a village next to a lignite mine in Germany. It is located near the surface mine called Garzweiler II. A few years ago there had already been protests in the area, against the destruction of the Hambach forest, near another mine in the same region. It is one of the regions in Europe with the richest deposits of lignite.

In recent years the village of Lützerath has been occupied by activists who have tried to prevent the planned destruction of the village to allow for the expansion of the mine. A citizens' protest has been going on for about two years. The company that owns the mine is RWE AG[1]and has started the destruction of the roads around it; people from the region have started protesting and occupying abandoned houses or building tree houses.
Lützerath is important because it is in a strategic position. The government decided that it would not destroy any other villages beyond this one to build lignite mines. Lützerath is located on top of a large brown coal deposit.
If Lützerath is destroyed and excavations begin in the surrounding area, Germany will certainly not be able to meet the climate commitments made in Paris (Paris Climate Agreements of 12 December 2015. The goal is to avoid that temperatures will rise by 1.5° Celsius by 2030, ndt). The amount of coal under Lützerath would emit more CO2 than all trees do in a year. So we talk about a lot of CO2. It is important that the lignite remains in the ground and is not mined. The use of this coal would lead to a further disaster.
But beyond a clear ecological struggle, Lützerath has become a space where people live together in a political way. Lützerath explicitly characterized itself as an anarchist occupation, where people tried to live together following anarchist principles. It was also an experiment in community life.
So there is a struggle, both symbolic and concrete, against lignite mining, but also this communal way of living together and building our utopia of an alternative way of life.
Now it's being attacked. The Green Party has signed an agreement with RWE banning the use of coal by 2030 but allowing the destruction of the village of Lützerath for the expansion of the lignite mine. This is the usual bullshit that the fight against climate change is being put off for the future. But that won't help us because we no longer have time to waste waiting for the years to pass.
Lützerath is attacked by the police so that they can evict everyone and destroy the village, and then start digging for lignite

Well being attacked by the police already says it all. Can you tell us what is happening now and what has happened in the last few days?[the interview is from January 7th, the eviction started on the 9th, ndt]
Starting January 2, a lot of police arrive in the village and they start destroying the outer barricades to fix their infrastructure and start the clearing out, thus isolating the village and preventing more people from coming. So they want to build a barrier around the village. It is a show of force and the use of scare tactics, as there have been confrontations by police arriving in riot gear to deter people.

So for many people it seemed clear that they would be confronted with the police who would try to clear the village. How did people prepare for the eviction and how did they plan to defend the place?
There is a physical part of post defense, like building barricades, but there is also a non-physical part, a psychological part. We held many assemblies to share experiences of past evictions so that we could be psychologically prepared. But we also discussed communication strategies, and that too was a lot of work.

I think the two years of living there kind of prepared us for the eviction because you live with other people, you take care of other people, you form strong connections with them. Affinity groups have formed, and how people in the occupation intend to defend Lützerath.
There is no single answer on how to defend the village; we realized that seeking a consensus level of actions to take was not working, we tried to promote a variety of defense tactics, and one of the defense strategies was to get as many people as possible into the village.
There was a lot of variety in the people who arrived: one of our photos shows people standing holding a Christian cross and others in black bloc attire next to them. We are open to different tactics. We think that everyone decides independently and as they see fit according to their own morals. There are common practices in the occupation, such as refusing to identify oneself[to the police]to try to slow down[the repressive actions]; but no one is pressing for it to be done, it is simply done by people.

In recent years there have been major evictions, such as the occupation of the Hambach forest or the ZAD in France. What do you think will happen in Lützerath in the next few days or months?
Until January 9, the protest is still legal, so people can come and support. We think that from January 14 the police will try to enter the village. Disclaimer: This is what the cops themselves told us, so we don't guarantee the information is correct because cops tend to lie.
From what we have heard, the strategy is to try to divide the interior of Lützerath, then put fences between the barrios and they will clear out and destroy one by one. one. They will try to take us individually or make people come down from the trees. We think this process will last around 4 weeks, but we will try to make it last as long as possible, and of course we would like to make it impossible for the police to clear out the village. We think that if there are enough people it will work. If we look at Hambach's occupation, the forest is still there, so I think there is a chance of winning if we are enough.

You are part of an independent media collective. What role do you have in the fight against the eviction?
I am part of Radio Aalpunk, the Lützerath anti-eviction support team. As in the case of Indymedia, or independent media in general, we are on the activist side and want to show the rest of the world what is happening in Lützerath. When the mainstream media talk about these protests they focus on small details they find "amusing" (e.g. when in the occupation of Hambach one person threw a bucket full of manure on the policemen). Yes it is funny, but the independent media should talk about why there is this struggle going on, what we are fighting for, what the enterprise we are fighting against stands for, and also highlight the anarchic aspects of the village, such as community life.
I think our role is twofold: we want to collect information to get it to as many people as possible; so we collect updates from people in the village about, for example, the police's moves, but we also want to keep company with people who are facing the eviction.
Evictions are usually very boring or very stressful: you can sit and wait or face the eviction. People can ask us to air songs, podcasts, stories etc. So they have something nice to listen to in an emotionally difficult situation.
I speak for myself: I would like to make known the love I have for Lützerath, and the love I received in Lützerath, and make it known to the whole world.
This is also a way to support my friends in the eviction and this would also allow us to understand why people care so much about defending the village and why they are fighting for it.

What can people do to support Lützerath and where can they find more information?
If you want to support Lützerath you can first come to the village, and we recommend that you come before January 9th. But if being inside an eviction is too stressful an experience, the eviction of the occupation is not just about the village itself. There are activist camps in the nearby villages and from there we organize ourselves to provide support to people in Lützerath, for example in community organizing to prepare food for everyone. Cutting carrots to make lunch for everyone is just as revolutionary as gluing yourself to trees. I think it's important to avoid creating hierarchies in actions.
There are also donations, both monetary and of goods: long-term food, batteries in case the electricity cuts, power banks, battery-operated radios and the like. But also cute gifts like chocolate. Sharing information on social media is also an important thing that anyone can do from home.

For more information about Lützerath see our website
We have lots of legal information on how to behave in the village, what to bring if you come to the village and links to our social media channels.

-Links to various social channels (German-English): https://luetzerathlebt.info/ticker
-Donations: https://luetzerathlebt.info/en/donations

For donations: if you want to support us with a donation, you can do so using the following bank account details:
IBAN: DE24 4306 0967 1204 1870 01
Reason: Lützi Lebt
Donations on Paypal*: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=3DST4V8TZSR2W

*We are aware of Paypal's use of funds

Note from the Galatea Anarchist Group
[1]Acronym of "Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk". It is a German multinational electricity supplier. The 2021 turnover was 24.5 billion euros, an increase of 79% compared to 2020 caused "by the sharp increase in the price of electricity recorded[in 2021]". See "RWE. Focus on growth. Annual report 2021", p. 53. Link: https://www.rwe.com/-/media/RWE/documents/05-investor-relations/finanzkalendar-und-veroeffentlichungen/2021-GJ/2022-03-15-rwe-annual-report- 2021.pdf?sc_lang=en

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