Police officers encircled a group of activists and coal mine opponents including Greta Thunberg (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)
17 January 2023

Climate activists stage more protests against German coal mine expansion

17 January 2023

Dozens of climate activists have glued themselves to a main street in Germany’s western city of Cologne and to a state government building in Duesseldorf to protest against the destruction of a village to make way for a coal mine’s expansion.

The protests came a day after the last two climate activists holed up in a tunnel beneath the village of Luetzerath left the site.

Activists also occupied a giant digger at another coal mine in the west of the country as part of Tuesday’s demonstrations and joined a protest march near Luetzerath.

Police and energy company RWE started evicting protesters from Luetzerath on January 11, removing roadblocks, chopping down treehouses and bulldozing buildings.

Activists have cited the symbolic importance of Luetzerath for years, and thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday against the razing of the village by RWE for the expansion of the Garzweiler coal mine.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who travelled to western Germany to participate in the demonstrations last weekend, also participated in a protest near the village of Luetzerath, the dpa news agency reported.

Once again, there were a few clashes with the police.

Several activists ran over to the Garzweiler open pit mine, according to dpa.

They stood at the brink of the open pit, which has a sharp break-off edge.

Police said it was dangerous and people were prohibited from staying there.

Ms Thunberg was one of several protesters carried away by police from the mine’s edge in the afternoon, dpa reported.

Several activists who took part in the demonstration ran over to the Garzweiler open pit mine, according to dpa.

Other protesters clashed with police near the mine, and officers used batons and pepper spray.

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