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Greta Thunberg defends taking part in protest that saw her detained by police

Greta Thunberg defends taking part in protest that saw her detained by police

Thunberg was among the hundreds who gathered in Luetzerath, Germany, to prevent the expansion of a coal mine on Tuesday.

Greta Thunberg has defended participating in a protest against a coal mine in Germany.

Earlier this week, the climate activist was detained by police for protesting the ongoing destruction of Luetzerath, a village in western Germany, to allow the expansion of a coal mine.

However, she issued a statement to her 5.8 million followers that climate action is not a ‘crime’.

She wrote: “Yesterday I was part of a group that peacefully protested the expansion of a coal mine in Germany. We were kettled by police and then detained but were let go later that evening.

“Climate protection is not a crime.”

A spokesperson for Aachen police told Reuters that shortly after the officials conducted an identity check, she was released.

"Greta Thunberg was part of a group of activists who rushed towards the ledge," they said.

"However, she was then stopped and carried by us with this group out of the immediate danger area to establish their identity."

Over the weekend, Thunberg addressed the thousands of people marching towards Luetzerath, calling the expansion a ‘betrayal of present and future generations’, as per ABC News.

"Germany is one of the biggest polluters in the world and needs to be held accountable," she added.

Thunberg was also among the hundreds who gathered for the demonstration on Tuesday, which came a day after the last two climate activists left their self-built tunnel beneath the village to prevent the demolition from unfolding, as per AlJazeera.

Christoph Reichwein/dpa/Alamy Live News

Meanwhile, anti-coal demonstrations continued across the region.

Some protesters chained themselves to a giant digger at another nearby mine, and others abseiled on a bridge to block access to Luetzerath.

BBC News reported that police began removing protesters from treehouses as well, and that almost 35 ‘tree structures’ had been cleared.

But tensions arose between the police and protesters, according to the outlet, and around 20 climate activists were hospitalized.

As thousands gathered in the hamlet of Luetzerath, protesters began throwing rocks at police, as per The Guardian.

One protester, who was seen with a head injury, told the outlet that the police’s response to clear her protest camp earlier in the week was ‘outrageous’.

“When the government and corporations act like this, destroying the environment...the people step up,” she said.

Featured Image Credit: Christoph Reichwein/dpa/Alamy Live News. Federico Gambarini/dpa/Alamy Live News

Topics: News, World News, Environment, Climate Change, Greta Thunberg