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WORLD

Activists Resume Protests Over German Coal Mine Expansion

January 17, 2023

BERLIN — Dozens of climate activists glued themselves to a main street in Germany’s western city of Cologne and to a state government building in Duesseldorf on Tuesday to protest the destruction of a village to make way for a coal mine expansion, German news agency dpa reported.

The protests came a day after the last two climate activists holed up in a tunnel beneath the village of Luetzerath left the site. Activists also occupied a giant digger at another coal mine in the west of the country as part of Tuesday’s demonstrations and joined a protest march near Luetzerath.

Police and energy company RWE started evicting protesters from Luetzerath on Jan. 11, removing roadblocks, chopping down treehouses and bulldozing buildings.

Activists have cited the symbolic importance of Luetzerath for years, and thousands of people demonstrated Saturday against the razing of the village by RWE for the expansion of the Garzweiler coal mine.

Later Tuesday, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who had traveled to western Germany to participate in the demonstrations last weekend, also participated in a protest near the village of Luetzerath, dpa reported.

Several activists who took part in the demonstration ran over to the Garzweiler open pit mine, according to dpa. They stood at the brink of the open pit, which has a sharp break-off edge. Police said it is dangerous and forbidden to stay there.

One protester was able to enter the mine, RWE said, calling the move “very reckless,” dpa reported.

Other protesters clashed with police near the mine, and officers used batons and pepper spray, police confirmed to dpa.

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