Thunberg Attends Coal Mine Protests


    The ongoing protest led by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to protest the expansion of a German coal mine again turned violent between protesters and police.

    On Friday, teen activist Greta Thunberg was in Luetzerath, a German town that is scheduled to be destroyed to facilitate expanding the Garzweiler coal mine. The mine is believed to be crucial to the country's energy security . The standoff in the region between Russia and the west over the conflict in Ukraine has been a catalyst for the economy of Europe to attempt to gather coal resources to replace the energy that is typically supplied through gas bought from Moscow.

    “You are change, you are hope.” Thunberg addressed the climate activists on the weekend in the Der Spiegel newspaper.

    “We are still here, Lutzerath is still there,” she declared, adding that the war doesn't end as long as coal is still in the ground. She added: “We won't give up.”

    According to the police, this protest that started at the beginning of the week has increased to between 8,000 and 10,000 people.

    In order to stop the number of people from increasing further, officers constructed two fences in the vicinity, which Der Spiegel noted has been utilized to prevent any person from entering or leaving, including journalists.

    Following the speech of Thunberg, violent clashes between police and protesters were witnessed and activists fired fireworks at the officers in riot gear and the police chased down and beat protesters with batons.

    In the midst of a fight with the police, they were singing: “Protecting climate is not a crime!” and “you are not alone!”

    To deter any further violent outbursts from the crowd, police have reportedly made threats to use water cannons upon the group.

    Aachen Police Chief, Dirk Weinspach, criticized the use of violence by leftist protesters, saying: “I am absolutely horrified at how normal meeting participants let themselves be carried away to enter the absolute danger area here.”

    In the year 2000, German power company RWE reached an agreement with the local government to allow the village to be demolished in order to allow for further expansion to the current coal mine located in the region.

    RWE has stated that it is crucial for the project to proceed for the sake of ensuring the security of energy for the country.

    Due to more than 10 years of the government's pursuit of a green agenda, and making the country open to global events, and its dependence on oil and gas imports from overseas, Germany has been forced to give up its green policies and re-open coal mining operations as Russian gas imports decreased.

    Environmentalists on their own argue against the development of coal mining, arguing that it goes against international accords Germany has signed on climate change.

    “We expect thousands of people to protest at Europe's biggest dirt hole, the fight is not yet lost… Lutzerath is alive,” spokesperson for protests Bente Opitz said.

    Raphael Thelen of the radical Last Generation climate change activist group stated: “The Greens are embarrassed to the bone and the rest of the government now also knows the price of dealing with the climate movement.”


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