More protests against lignite at the opencast mine – Greta Thunberg there

Greta Thunberg

The Swedish climate activist in the police bus after taking part in the protests in Lützerath.

(Photo: Reuters)

Inden/Neurath Climate activists met in several locations on Tuesday North Rhine-Westphalia continued their protests against the mining of lignite and the demolition of Lützerath. Again there were clashes with the police. Among other things, an excavator as well as rails and access roads were blocked. The energy company RWE announced criminal charges.

Several hundred demonstrators gathered near the village of Lützerath, which has since been evacuated and is earmarked for demolition. Among them was the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. According to the police, people broke away from the demonstration and headed towards the Garzweiler opencast mine. Entering the steep edge of the opencast mine and Lützerath is prohibited.

Thunberg was carried away from the demolition edge as one of several demonstrators by police officers. A dpa photographer observed this. Thunberg was therefore carried away by three police officers and dropped off after a good 50 meters to carry out an identity check. Police confirmed Tuesday that Thunberg was part of the group that had moved towards the ledge and were then stopped and carried away.

Greta Thunberg

The climate activist continues to take part in protests against coal mining in Garzweiler.

(Photo: dpa)

A police spokeswoman said Thunberg was taken into custody for the determination of personal details. Once the identities of everyone involved were established, the group would be driven out of the danger area in buses and then released.

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There had previously been confrontations between the police and activists as they headed towards the edge. Police used batons, pepper spray and officers on horses. Lützerath itself had been evacuated by the police in the past few days and is sealed off. The demonstrators demanded on self-painted banners: “Lützi stays!”.

After the demonstration, according to RWE a person in the opencast lignite mine. “Of course it’s grossly reckless what he’s doing there,” said an RWE spokesman.

Occupied bucket wheel excavator and tracks

A bucket-wheel excavator was manned in the Inden open-cast lignite mine and had to temporarily stop working. The Aachen police spoke of 20 to 30 activists involved, the RWE spokesman from 30 to 40. In the end, everyone climbed voluntarily from the excavator, said a police spokesman.

According to police and RWE information, a group of around 120 activists also occupied the coal railway tracks to the Neurath power plant near Rommerskirchen. Those who refused to leave the tracks were carried away, the police spokesman said. “There is no coal train here today. We stand in the way of destruction with our bodies,” tweeted the “Ende Gelände” alliance.

Activists from the group Extinction Rebellion clung to the NRW Ministry of the Interior in Düsseldorf, later they left voluntarily or were removed by the police. Around 150 demonstrators also gathered in the state parliament, who then marched in front of the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Greta Thunberg at another demonstration near Lützerath

Activists also temporarily occupied two access roads to the Garzweiler opencast mine. In Cologne, climate activists stuck to a street and thus brought the commuter traffic to a massive standstill.

The police forces had prepared for spontaneous, decentralized actions in many places on Tuesday. The action alliance “Lützerath Unräumbar”, which also includes groups from Fridays For Future and Last Generation, had called for a joint day of action.

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