Germany: Greta Thunberg arrested during a demonstration

Germany: Greta Thunberg arrested during a demonstration

The young Swedish environmental activist was arrested in Germany on Tuesday at a demonstration against a project to expand a coal mine, police said.

“The group (of protesters, Ed) is in custody,” a police spokeswoman said, adding that the anti-coal activists “went to the edge of the mine.” Photos also showed the activist being evacuated by police.

According to the German weekly Der Spiegel, around 60 to 70 activists sat at the edge of the mine opening and prompted a police operation. “Once the check is over, we will decide the fate of these people,” added a police source.

The Swedish activist has been in Germany for several days to support opponents of the expansion of the country’s largest opencast mine in the Rhine basin, which will soon engulf an abandoned hamlet called L├╝tzerath.

Located in North Rhine-Westphalia (West), the Garzweiler mine is a huge opencast mine operated by the RWE company. The construction of the mine has already resulted in the evacuation of several villages, and other villages must disappear to allow for its expansion.

Its extension, planned for several years, is considered necessary for German energy security, which has to compensate for the loss of Russian gas supplies.

For their part, activists believe current lignite reserves are sufficient and denounce Germany’s serious departure from its climate commitments.

A hamlet occupied by activists

The hamlet of L├╝tzerath, occupied by climate activists who wanted to prevent its destruction, was evacuated by police, who pulled out several hundred people who took refuge in trees and abandoned farms.

Despite the end of the multi-day police operation, the opponents are not giving up. They had organized a demonstration on Saturday that brought together more than 15,000 participants from all over Germany. Scuffles left dozens injured among the demonstrators and the police.

The protest actions continued on Tuesday with occupations of railway tracks, blockades of streets and buildings, especially in western Germany.