From her tiny wooden treehouse, which sways precariously in the winter wind, a young woman watches an enormous mechanical digger tear into the earth below, its jaws edging ever closer to the village which she’s determined to save.
Lützerath, in western Germany, is on the verge – literally – of being swallowed up by the massive coal mine on its doorstep. Around 200 climate change activists, who are now all that stand in the way of the diggers expanding the Garzweiler opencast mine, have been warned that if they don’t leave by Tuesday they’ll be forcibly evicted.
It’s why they’ve taken to the trees, Bente Opitz explains. “It’s a lot harder for the police to evict us,” she says. “We have ropes between the treehouses so we can move from one to another.”
But the protesters are busy at ground level too. Young men and women, many with scarves masking their faces, reinforce makeshift barricades and load wheelbarrows with bricks.
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