Activists defend village earmarked for coal mine

STORY: Some 300 to 350 protesters were taking part according to the Aachen police department.

Police were on Tuesday removing sitting protesters who had formed a human chain and hindering others from building trenches.

Police said they expected to dismantle wooden tripods holding up hanging activists by the end of the day.

The protester's occupation of the village in western Germany and road in was initially set up to stop the planned demolition of Luetzerath and the extension of an open-cast coal mine to be operated by German energy company RWE.

Police on Tuesday were attempting to free the road into Luetzerath, while a clearance operation of the village was expected to begin on Wednesday and to be completed by the end of February.

In a news conference on Monday Aachen police chief said they were expecting it to be a difficult operation and were expecting some violence.

On Tuesday police on the ground called on protesters to vacate the area peacefully.

RWE is planning to commence activity by the end of February.

German climate activists have been protesting for years against the plans, stating that further coal mining would be contrary to Germany's national objectives to reduce carbon emissions.