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Greta Thunberg Forcibly Removed from Anti-Coal Protest

Luetzerath is home to large protests against the expansion of coal mines. Greta Thunberg was amongst a crowd of protesters the other day who were removed by police.

The Independent/YouTube

The German village of Luetzerath is home to large protests against the expansion of coal mines. Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg was amongst a crowd of protesters the other day who were removed by police.

Luetzerath is under threat of being demolished in order to make way for a coal mine nearby. Locals and activists from around the world are trying their best to stop this from happening. Although, RWE has confirmed that “all original inhabitants left the village some time ago”.

1000s of people are gathering to complain as the village is set to be destroyed and homes lost. The protests are regularly resulting in violent confrontations.

Protestors gathered near the edge of the Garzweiler opencast mine. The mine was around 5 miles from the village. This protest was deemed too dangerous and very quickly the Police intervened.

In reality, the roads of Luetzerath are already on the road to ruin. The demolition is going ahead and started, as planned, on the 11th of January. The protests, therefore, are arguably turning into more of a symbol. Representing the environmental outrage relating to coal mines in general, the dream that Luetzerath can be saved is fading away.

Greta Thunberg, 20, had been joining in protests. She was part of the group that was detained and forcibly removed by German police.

Greta Thunberg, Twitter.

Stating clearing that “climate protection is not a crime” there is no doubt that Thunberg will continue to do everything she can to protect our planet.

Why is Luetzerath being demolished?

RWE is a German energy company that has agreed to exit from the use of coal by 2030. However, the company says that due to the current energy crisis, the Leutzerath demolition is still necessary.

“The coal under the former settlement of Luetzerath… is needed to make optimal use of the lignite fleet during the energy crisis,” the company says to justify its actions. RWE insists that accessing the coal under this village will “save gas in electricity generation for Germany”.

Focusing on safety, RWE confirm that they’ve put in place a 1.5 km long fence to mark out the construction site. The issue for protestors, however, isn’t the safety of the demolition but the fact it is still going ahead. In this sense, the company is always going to be at fault in the protestors’ eyes.

Speaking directly to protestors the company says “RWE Power wants to make protestors aware of the hazards associated with operating equipment and work processes”. The company is warning “squatters” that they need to observe the law. “Nobody should put their own health and life at risk by participating in illegal activity”.

Greta Thunberg has become one of the biggest presences in environmental activism. It’s safe to say she’s not everyone’s cup of tea but the one thing that’s clear is she’s adamant to save our planet. Unfortunately, the protests at Luetzerath seem to be too late.

Written By

Hello! I am a third year undergraduate student at the University of York studying English Literature. I am currently editor of my student publication York Vision and I have been working with Trill since 2022.

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