In the ARD talk show “Anne Will”, Luisa Neubauer defends attacks on the police with stones, Molotovs and pyrotechnics. Is Lützerath the Hartz IV for the Greens? And why is presenter Will suddenly so good after her end was announced.

Three people live in Lützerath. Lutzerath? Where is it? Keyenberg and Alt-Spenrath, Alt-Immerath and Holzweiler border on it. But the hamlet between Düsseldorf and Aachen is currently in the headlines. Because the energy company RWE wants to excavate the place. A lot of coal lies under Lützerath. And because the climate activists are against coal for power generation, tens of thousands of demonstrators were on site. Some peaceful, others determined to riot.

How was it? The money comes from the bank and the electricity from the socket. But although energy procurement due to Putin’s war against Ukraine is causing us bottlenecks, the climate activists are insisting on the immediate exit from fossil fuels. Will the socket still have supplies, right?

Hardly anyone will doubt that renewable energies are urgently needed. But does that mean that activists have to block roads and people and attack law enforcement? “Battle for Lützerath – crucial test for German climate policy?” wants to discuss the Sunday talk “Anne Will” in the first.

It will be opened by the Minister of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia. Herbert Reul, CDU, is emphatically factual. “Courts have decided that nobody is allowed in anymore,” explains Reul. Because Lützerath is owned by RWE. “The ladies and gentlemen did not stick to it,” said the minister. The ladies and gentlemen are activists for whom the democratic rules of the game apparently do not apply.

If there really were abuses by the police, as the environmental protesters claim? “Then we will clarify that.” But Reul also insists: “I would also like the precision on the other side. Because: who threw stones there?”

Luisa Neubauer, one of the prominent activists, has experienced “frightening things”. They wanted to protest peacefully. But: “The police operation was completely disproportionate.” She does not mention the stones, Molotov cocktails and pyromaterial. The end seems so great that it justifies any means, no matter how questionable.

Presenter Anne Will cannot leave this unmentioned: “Do you understand that as de-escalating?” Anne Will repeatedly intervenes when someone in their ARD round starts the shambles mode so that they don’t have to answer the questions. Overall we see a strong show. Weird, is not it? As soon as Anne Will says goodbye to her program of the same name, the presenter seems liberated and pointed as rarely before.

Ricarda Lang, chairwoman of the Greens, doesn’t seem as if Greens member Luisa Neubauer is happy with her party. She therefore speaks of two hearts in her chest. Of course, environmental and climate protection are important to her and have always been her motivation. But: “We found out that we will phase out coal by 2030 – instead of 2038.”

She brushes aside the fact that, as Anne Will wants to question, Lützerath could become Hartz IV for the Greens. In general, there is a lot of verbiage in their answers.

Anne Will also met climate icon Greta Thunberg in the context of the demonstrations. She says that “Germany is one of the biggest polluters”. The German government? “On a wrong path, yes.”

And Thunberg also defends the attacks on the German police: “We are many who wonder who the police are really protecting.” She sums up: “I can only encourage civil disobedience.” Can that be the way? More and more anti-democratic movements?

Climate researcher Mojib Latif rejects this radicalization. “I said that nobody can put themselves above the law.” But Latif remains firm on the matter: “Germany has a damned duty to lead the way in climate protection. If it already fails at the speed limit, how is it supposed to work with big issues?”

Michael Hüther, head of the German Economic Institute, also thinks big. But not in the direction that climate activists are comfortable with. “This Lützerath is completely irrelevant, you can’t pretend that this hamlet is a hot spot of German culture.” He considers the violence there to be counterproductive. He observes with uneasiness the tendency to put morality ahead of democratic discourse. And he’s right about that.