German police close to clearing mining town

Greta Thunberg, along with many others, were carried off by police in Lützerath, Germany, where utility RWE aims to expand its mining operations.
Photo: Ina Fassbender
Photo: Ina Fassbender

Only two activists remain in the German village of Lützerath, which is set to be razed to the ground in order to expand mining operations in the area.

German police report to news agency dpa that the two activists are hiding in an underground tunnel.

”There are no other activists in the Lützerath area,” the police inform. 

Hundreds of policer officers have been deployed in the area to remove the hundreds of activists from the abandoned town in western Germany.

Among those removed by the police Sunday was Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Photos published in the German newspaper Bild shows Thunberg smiling as she was taken away from the scene by two police officers.

She was one of thousands who showed up for a planned protest in the town Saturday.

The organizers of this protest says that 35,000 people showed up. Meanwhile, the police had mustered around 15,000 officers.

The fear-reaching protests were sparked by the German authorities’ decision to tear down Lützerath in order to allow for the expansion of lignite production in the area.

For climate activists, the town has become a symbol of Germany’s decision to ramp up coal extraction and consumption.

For a longer period of time, hundreds of activists besieged the town in order to demonstrate their opposition to the decision.

Over the last week, activists also occupied government offices belonging to the Greens, accusing them of going against their own principles and accepting an expansion of the mining operations.

This expansion is attributed to the current energy crisis resulting from the war in Ukraine.

Protesters and police accuse one another of committing acts of violence in connection with Saturday’s protest.

The police say that approximately 70 officers suffered injuries during the clashes.

According to a volunteer medic who treated climate activists, at least 20 of them were taken to a hospital for further treatment.

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay ahead of development by receiving our newsletter on the latest sector knowledge.

Newsletter terms

Front page now

Further reading