Greta Thunberg joins anti-coal activists to save German village | Climate Crisis News

Climate activist Greta Thunberg and thousands of protesters marched in Germany against the demolition of a village to make way for a coal mine described as “one of the biggest carbon bombs in Europe”.

Crowds of activists protested on Saturday in the western village of Luetzerathwaving banners and chanting as a bass band accompanies them.

Luetzerath, abandoned for a time by its original inhabitants, is about to disappear to make way for the extension of the adjacent open-pit coal mine, one of the largest in Europe. It is operated by the energy company RWE.

Environmentalists say that bulldozing the village to expand the Garzweiler mine will lead to huge greenhouse gas emissions. The government and RWE consider coal essential to Germany’s energy security.

Swedish climate activist Thunberg, 20 years old, marched in front of the procession as protesters gathered in the village, showing support for the activists who are occupying the village to protest the expansion of the coal mine.

‘Fight for climate justice’

Some fought police, who were trying to move the march out of Luetzerath, which is surrounded by a fence.

“We are in the midst of a climate crisis by 2023, and while destroying a village to expand one of the largest carbon bombs in Europe should be considered a crime, it is still appropriate. France,” speak Sara Ayech, climate campaign leader at Greenpeace International.

“The influence of fossil fuel companies is so strong that those who are considered criminals today are climate justice fighters,” she said. “It’s time to hold fossil fuel companies accountable.”

in an activity show This week, hundreds of policemen worked to remove activists from the village.

But 20 to 40 climate activists were still holed up in the village late Friday, a spokesman for the protest movement said.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg joins protest against coal mine expansion
Greta Thunberg, center, joins a protest against coal mine expansion [Christian Mang/Reuters]

Evacuation is in progress

Authorities said they were entering the final stages of evacuating the activists. In just a few days, a large portion of the protester’s camp was cleared by the police and its occupants removed.

German media quoted police as saying about 470 activists have been expelled from the village since the evacuation began.

A large number of protesters, including Thunberg, gathered on Saturday near the village, which has become a symbol of resistance against fossil fuels.

“Against Evacuation, To End Coal and Climate Justice” was the call to rally the protests.

Police reinforcements came from all over the country to take part in the cleanup of the village.

Organizers are hoping that tens of thousands of protesters will attend while police say they expect around 8,000.

Many activists in the village built tall structures in the trees while others climbed to the tops of abandoned buildings and barns.

Activists said they dug a tunnel under the village to complicate the evacuation effort.

The movement was supported by protests across Germany. On Friday, masked activists burned trash cans and painted slogans on Green Party offices in Berlin.

The party, part of Germany’s ruling coalition with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats and the radical Liberal Democratic Party, has been heavily criticized by activists, who accuse the party of being anti-national. multiple.

After the energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the government brought the old coal power plants back up and running.

Officials also signed a compromise with the RWE, paving the way for the destruction of Luetzerath but leaving five nearby villages behind.

The energy company also agreed to stop coal-fired power generation in western Germany by 2030, eight years earlier than previously planned.

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