Greta Thunberg accused of setting up police detention after being spotted laughing with officers
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Featured Image Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy / Twitter
Some people have accused Greta Thunberg of faking being detained by police in Germany while at a protest against the expansion of a coal mine yesterday. Here's the video being used as evidence to claim it's all a set-up.
Of course, a lot of the people who are accusing her of this are exactly the sort of people that you’d imagine would want to make it seem as if Greta was attempting to pull the wool over people’s eyes.
A cursory search on Twitter reveals that a lot of the people – predominantly men – who are claiming that Thunberg's detention was fake are the sort of people who also believe that climate change isn’t happening and that environmentalism is a conspiracy propagated by shadowy forces to exert some sort of control over the world's population.
20-year-old Thunberg appears to have piqued the suspicions of some by appearing to stand around with police officers smiling and joking, whilst one of them held her arm with another arm on her shoulder.
Despite the evidence that she was – if somewhat peacefully – being detained by the police, some have said that the incident was ‘all set up for the cameras’.
An online commentator said: “Greta Thunberg's arrest in Germany was fake AF.
“Just like man-made climate change.”
In a statement about the incident, which took place near to the village of Luetzerath in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, police said that the 20-year-old Swedish climate protester was part of a group of protesters that ‘stormed’ near to the edge of the open-cast coal mine that is set for expansion and has been described as ‘steep and extremely dangerous’.
The police added that Ms Thunberg was carried off along with other protesters for identification – as was shown in a number of pictures – but was not, ultimately, arrested.
After being briefly detained, she was then released.
In a speech before her detention, Thunberg had said that Germany was ‘embarrassing itself right now’.
She added: "The science is clear: we need to keep the carbon in the ground.”
The protests at the mine have been ongoing for around a week now, with Aachen police and energy company RWE starting the process of removing protesters on January 11.
The site of the mine has become a rallying point for those who oppose the expansion, because the village of Luetzerath would be razed to the ground in order to make space for the new and enlarged Garzweiler coal mine.
The German government has been relying on coal for short-term energy security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, though environmentalists say that the lignite coal mined at Garzweiler is the most pollutant type of coal.
The government – a three way coalition that includes the country’s Green party - says that it remains committed to phasing out coal over the long term, and has pledged to get rid of coal in North Rhine-Westphalia by 2030, bringing that deadline forward by eight years.