Police were involved in the removal of almost all climate activists from a german village that will be destroyed to allow the expansion of a coal mine. over the course of three days, beginning on wednesday, hundreds of officers cleared around 300 activists from lützerath. swedish climate activist greta thunberg joined the protest and denounced “police violence” in removing climate activists from the site. two people were still holding out in an underground tunnel at the site in western germany, police added.
Village is owned by energy firm rwe, and the last resident moved out over a year ago. tensions between police and climate protesters escalated on saturday, with officers using water cannon and batons to disperse the activists. around 20 protesters were injured and taken to hospital, according to a medic with the activist group. a police spokesman said around 70 officers had been injured since they began removing people from the site on wednesday.
Activists said that the village and others nearby should not be demolished and the coal under them should be left in the ground. activists say burning the coal undermines germany’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. germany has promised to phase out coal-fired power by 2030. lützerath is expected to be the final village to be swallowed up by the garzweiler lignite mine. rwe said the coal under the village would be needed as early as this winter. the climate organisers said around 35,000 protesters demonstrated on saturday, while police officials put the figure at around 15,000.