Climate activists left their mark early yesterday morning on Marienplatz in protest against the clearing of the Hambach Forest, and the forced evictions that began last week. Police soon arrived and began to issue citations.
Since 2012, activists have occupied the forest, where German energy giant RWE plans to expand its open-pit lignite mine—one of the largest in Europe. RWE intends to clear half of the remaining forest from mid-October, threatening its rich biodiversity (including several protected plant and animal species). Some activist organizations have insisted that RWE halt the evictions until Germany’s coal exit commission has presented its final report in December this year, which is to include an end date for coal usage in Germany.