… a woman was shouting, and a huge crowd of protesters and activists replied »’Cause the people have the power!« Honestly, standing in the pouring rain outside in the cold at the train station of Erkelenz somewhere in the countryside, I wasn’t sure what I was doing there. I had to think back on what it cost me to be there, getting up early, being on a packed train, being pushed by some men, obviously scared by their own midlife crisis, drinking beer and wanting to see a soccer match. Now, I had to wait for another two hours to get on one of those shuttle buses to get me to the main demonstration just outside of Lützerath.


Were was I? So, »Lützerath« became the name for climate justice protests, Fridays For Future and all sorts of activism and civil disobedience also aimed at the German Green Party for not sticking to their original program about lignite. Sympathizing with the movement, I went to some protests before »Lützerath«, but this time the protests were much bigger and interesting on a visual level… How is it going to look there? How many people will be there? Does it count to show solidarity with those climbing on trees and blockading the village?


Getting off the shuttle, people thanked the driver for bringing them there. I went with the flow and walked with an ever growing number of people for another hour through the rain, over the countryside. »Power to the people. ‚Cause the people have the power. Power to the people. Getting stronger by the hour!« By that time I was convinced: I wittnessed something big, something meaningful. I arrived at the mining site, stumbled through the mud and saw all forms of protest by thousands of people! While I was there, I witnessed no violence from either side (protesters, police)!


As I wondered if any of the photographs I took would turn out to be any good because of the weather and also worrying about my beloved camera, I slowly realized that it was good to be there anyway. But than, on the way back, I got lost in the nearby village of Keyenberg…


… and was kindly picked up by a couple that took me back to the station with their car. Thanks for the coffee! In the end, almost everyone on the train shared probably more than mud on their shoes. »Power to the people!«