About 6,000 protesters – including climate activist Greta Thunberg – marched through mud. And rain to the German village of Luetzerth on Saturday. To protest the expansion of an opencast lignite mine, according to a police estimate.
A deal between RWE and the government to clear the village in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia allowed. The energy giant to demolish Lutzerath in exchange for a quick exit from coal. With five villages originally slated for demolition.
“This is a betrayal of present and future generations… Germany is one of the biggest polluters in the world and must be held accountable,” Thunberg said on a stage. After she marched with a
cardboard sign in German that said “Luetzie remains. Using an acronym for the village. .
Regional police said on Twitter that they used force to break down barriers near the danger zone at the edge of the mining. Mrea to stop people.
Earlier this week, police removed protesters from buildings they had occupied for nearly two years. In an effort to stop nearby mining expansion.
On Saturday, only a few remained camping in treehouses and an underground tunnel. But thousands turned out to protest the mine. Which activists say is a symbol of Berlin’s failed climate policy.
North Rhine-Westphalia’s president. Told German radio Deutschlandfunkn Saturday that energy. Politics were “not always pretty” but that coal was needed more than ever in light of the energy crisis facing Europe’s largest economy.
Earlier, Economy Minister Robert Habeck told Spiegel on Friday that Lutzerath was the “wrong symbol” to protest.
But activists say Germany should stop mining lignite and instead focus on expanding renewable energy.