Greta Thunberg was detained by police during a coal mine protest in Germany

Greta Thunberg was detained by police during a coal mine protest in Germany

Greta Thunberg was detained by police during a coal mine protest in Germany


Climate activist Greta Thunberg was detained by German police protests over coal mine expansion In the West German village of Lutzerat.

Police spokesman Christoph Huls told CNN on Tuesday that Thunberg was arrested here for the second time. He was part of a large group of protesters who broke through a police cordon and stormed a coal pit, but authorities were unable to fully secure him, Hulse said.

After the group advanced to the coal pit, police were concerned that the “masses of protesters”, softened by the rains of the past few days, could move the ground. Officers intervened, pulled the men out of the “danger zone” and arrested them, including Thunberg, police said.

“We knew who he was, but he didn’t get the VIP treatment,” Hulse said. “He didn’t resist,” he added.

Thunberg was the keynote speaker at Saturday’s rally, and when she was first arrested, she “surprisingly” returned on Tuesday to protest again on Sunday, he said.

Police said they would release the group detained on Tuesday in the evening. This was reported by Reuters.

Climate activists have long protested the expansion of this coal mine, which cuts through the village of Lutzerat.

Thunberg joined thousands of other activists and protesters in demonstrations over the weekend against the demolition of a German village to make way for the expansion of the Hartzweiler lignite mine, owned by European energy giant RWE. After the relocation, RWE plans to build the building 1.5 km fence around the village, closing the village buildings, streets, and sewers before destroying them.

Coal mine expansion matters to climate activists. They argue that continuing to burn coal for energy will increase planet-warming emissions and undermine the ambition of the Paris climate agreement to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Lignite is the most polluting form of coal, which is itself the most polluting fossil fuel.

Thunberg tweeted on Friday he was in Lucerne to protest the expansion and asked others to join him. On Saturday, Thunberg addressed the activists. “The carbon is still in the ground,” he said. “And as long as the carbon is in the ground, this fight is not over.”

“We must stop the current destruction of our planet and the sacrifice of people for the benefit of short-term economic growth and corporate greed,” he said.

Clashes between activists and police have continued this month, and photos of protests show police wearing riot gear to remove demonstrators. Some of the protesters have been in Lutzerat for more than two years. This was previously reported by CNNformer residents occupied abandoned houses after they were evicted to make way for the mine.

More than 1,000 police officers were mobilized for the evacuation operation. Most of the buildings in the village have now been cleared and replaced by earthmoving machines.

Both RWE and Germany’s Green Party reject claims that the mine expansion will increase overall emissions, saying European limits mean additional carbon emissions can be offset. But several climate reports have made clear the need to accelerate clean energy and move away from fossil fuels. Recent research also suggests that Germany may not need more coal. An August report Coal Transitions, an international research platform, found that although coal plants will operate at very high capacity until the end of this decade, they already have more coal than they need from existing supplies.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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