Several hundred climate activists tried Tuesday to prevent heavy machinery from reaching an abandoned village in Germany that is due to be cleared for the expansion of a coal mine, even as police pushed back protesters and removed road blocks ahead of a possible clearance this week.

According to AP, the standoff between police and protesters followed a regional court’s decision Monday rejecting a last-ditch attempt by the activists to stay in the hamlet of Luetzerath, west of Cologne, which has become a battleground between the government and environmentalists.

About 300 people refused to heed the ruling arguing that civil disobedience at the site was justified in the face of the climate crisis.

Utility company RWE wants to extract the coal beneath Luetzerath, which it says is necessary to ensure energy security in Germany. The company reached a deal with the regional government last year that allows the village to be destroyed in return for ending coal use by 2030, rather than 2038.

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