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German court rejects activist bid to stay in doomed village

ERKELENZ, Germany (AP) — A court in Germany has rejected a last-ditch attempt by climate activists to stay in an abandoned village which is due to be cleared for the expansion of a coal mine that’s become a battleground between the government and environmentalists.

The regional administrative court in Muenster late Monday confirmed a lower court decision forbidding the activists from remaining in the hamlet of Luetzerath, west of Cologne.

The court dismissed the activists’ argument that civil disobedience at the site was justified due to the climate crisis.

Utility company RWE wants to extract the coal beneath Luetzerath, arguing that this is necessary to ensure energy security in Germany.

Police have said no clearance will take place until after a town hall event later Tuesday.

In the morning, dozens of activists were stationed at a makeshift roadblock, trying to block RWE from bringing heavy machinery into the village. Police in riot gear stood by but didn’t immediately intervene.