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Greta Thunberg detained by police over coal mine protests

Ali Condon

Published 
| Last updated 

Greta Thunberg detained by police over coal mine protests

Featured Image Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy

Greta Thunberg has been detained by authorities in Germany after taking part in an environmental protest.

The Swedish activist, 20, travelled to western Germany on Saturday (14 January) to join locals in their demonstration against the demolition of the village of Lützerath to make way for a coal mine expansion.

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Police say that this is the second time that Greta has been moved on by authorities this week.

As part of the protest, dozens of climate activists had glued themselves to a main street in Germany’s western city of Cologne and to a state government building in Düsseldorf.

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 Lützerath.

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

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One protester was able to enter the mine, RWE said, calling the move 'very reckless'.

Greta Thunberg joined locals in their demonstration against the demolition of the German village of Lützerath to make way for a coal mine expansion. Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo
Greta Thunberg joined locals in their demonstration against the demolition of the German village of Lützerath to make way for a coal mine expansion. Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

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

A spokesperson for the local Aachen police force confirmed to Sky News that Greta was part of the group of protesters who 'stormed' toward the edge of the 'steep and extremely dangerous' open cast mine.

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Police also confirmed that Greta was not arrested, but carried away to be held with other protesters for identification.

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

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

The young climate activist was detained by police. Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo
The young climate activist was detained by police. Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo
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Although activists regard the lignite coal in the Garzweiler mine as the most detrimental form of coal, Germany's government is relying on it for short-term energy security while Russia's invasion of Ukraine plays out - hence the coal mine expansion.

The coalition government has promised that it is still committed to cutting out coal in the long term, but energy supplies to Europe have decreased severely due to Germany's reliance on Russian gas.

Protesters worry that bulldozing the village of Lützerath to expand its coal mines would release major greenhouse gas emissions.

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

Ali Condon
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