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Greta Thunberg is carried away by police at German coal mine demo

Grinning Greta Thunberg is carried away by police as officers clash with group of climate protesters at demo at German village being razed to make way for a coal mine

  • The Swedish climate activist was removed by police at a German protest today
  • She and other activists were demonstrating against the expansion of a coal mine
  • The authorities took away Thunberg, 20,  in Lutzerath, in North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Locals in the area have been moved as it’ll be demolished for the mine to expand

Greta Thunberg was seen smiling as she was carried away by police while protesting at a German coal mine today. 

The Swedish climate activist and other protesters confronted police at a mine in Lutzerath, in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of the country.

The village is set to be razed to make way for the expansion of the mine, despite demonstrations from environmentalists.

Thunberg, who has been one of the main voices in the anti-climate change movement in recent years, was seen laughing as two police officers in riot gear carried her away this afternoon.

Greta Thunberg is seen smiling as she is surrounded by two police officers in Lutzerath in Germany today

The climate activist laughed as the riot police forcibly removed her from a protest against the expansion of a coal mine

The 20-year-old was forcibly removed by police after failing to comply with demands for protesters to vacate the area, according to German newspaper Bild.

She joined around 70 protesters at the site today, with the newspaper repting they ran across a field near the mine in a bid to disrupt operations.

There have been multiple protests at the site near the town of Erkelenz in west Germany in recent days, with clashes between demonstrators and police.

Activists have occupied the village of Lutzerath in an effort to stop the mine expanding, digging tunnels and building structures in an effort to stall progress.

The residents of the village left some time ago after being ordered to leave by the German courts.

On Wednesday, January 11, police were given the green light to remove people from the hamlet, sparking violence.

Demonstrators have accused the police of ‘pure violence’, while the authorities say 70 cops have been hurt in recent days.

The Swedish eco-activist has visited the mine to protest against its expansion, which will see the town of Lutzerath demolished

Thunberg, pictured here before being carried away, has called for the German government to stop plans to expand the mine

There have been violent clashes between protesters and police at the mine in recent days. Picture: A demonstrator holds his eye at a rally yesterday

Protesters link arms as riot police confront them outside the mine on Saturday, January 14

Smoke drifts through the air as eco-activists scuffle with police outside the mine on Saturday, January 14

A protester falls to the floor during clashes between police and eco-activists at the coal mine on Saturday, January 14

Police say it is investigating 154 potential offences, while nine eco-activists were taken to hospital, although none have been seriously hurt – a claim disputed by the climate protesters who say several have been critically injured.

The action has descended into farcical scenes at times, with video on social media showing police dressed in riot gear getting stuck in thick mud while protesters throw muck at them.

One video appears to show a man dressed as a friar taunting the stuck police officers and even pushing one over as they try to get out of the mud.

The mine, called Garzweiler, is one of Europe’s largest opencasts and is operated by energy firm RWE. It is a major source of lignite used in coal power stations. 

Protesters gather outside the coal mine as they prepare to confront police on Saturday, January 14

Police on horseback advance towards protesters outside the mine on Saturday, January 14

Protesters stand on the edge of the opencast mine, looking dozens of metres down to where lignite has been extracted

Demonstrators gather in a field next to the mine as a huge piece of mining equipment looms in the background on Saturday January 14

Thunberg had visited the town on Friday, January 13, where she said Germany was ’embarrassing itself’ by expanding the mine, DW News reports.

‘I think it’s absolutely absurd that this is happening in the year 2023,’ she said. 

‘The most effective people are clear, the science is clear, we need to keep the carbon in the ground. 

‘When government and corporations are acting like this, are actively destroying the environment, putting countless of people at risk, the people step up.

‘This is only a part of a global climate movement and we stand together in solidarity.’

The German government had announced plans to phase out coal by 2030, the Sun reports, but has since changed tack after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced it to rethink its energy policy.

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