Local police said that they were only focused on clearing a street that leads to the village on Monday. The organization defending the village, Lützerath Bleibt (Lützerath is staying), wrote on Twitter that two of their tripods have been dismantled, but that "no cops have made it into the village."
Another tweet showed photos from the area, with activists saying several actions were being prepared ahead of time.
The clearance of the village is planned for mid-January — activists have called on supporters to join them before January 10. Many residents have been relocated so that the ground can be dug up for coal extraction.
Why are activists blockading the village of Lützerath?
Activists began occupying the village of Lützerath two years ago. Its fate has been intimately connected to the debate over Germany's plan to stop burning coal.
As one of the most polluting sources of energy, the continued burning of coal risks sending Germany beyond the commitments it made to reduce carbon emissions as part of the Paris Agreement.
The Lützerath initiative follows a similar campaign to protect the nearby Hambacher forest, which was cleared in 2019 in what was the costliest police operation in German history, with a price tag of €50 million (€53 million).
However, despite the clearance, it was agreed that the forest would not be ripped up for coal mining.
What fate is awaiting Lützerath?
In response to an open letter, the head of the Aachen police force responsible for the clearance, Dirk Weinspach, said that he shares the activists' concerns regarding "further warming of the earth and the consequences that it will bring if we are unable to stick to the internationally agreed goal of 1.5 degrees."
But he added that it is not up to the police to decide, and that the clearance must go ahead. Activists still hope to prevent the success of the police operation.
An agreement between mining company RWE and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, represented by its Green party Economy Minister Mona Neubauer, and the German state, represented by the federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck — also from the Greens — was ratified in December.
According to the deal, Germany's coal phaseout will be brought forward to 2030, rather than 2038, and several villages will be saved from destruction — but not Lützerath.