(Berlin) Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg and other protesters spent hours in police custody on Tuesday after protesting the expansion of a coal mine in western Germany, a source said. policewoman.
The group of demonstrators had been arrested after approaching the mine, a huge pit from which lignite, a particularly polluting fuel, is extracted.
“They were transported by bus out of the danger zone”, their identity was checked, then they were released, said a spokesman for the local police, adding that it had lasted “several hours”.
In photos, Greta Thunberg, dressed in black, is shown being held by police officers and then carried by them as part of her evacuation.
The Swedish activist has been in Germany for several days to support opponents of the extension of the country’s largest open-pit mine, in the Rhine basin, which will soon swallow up an abandoned hamlet called Lützerath.
This hamlet occupied by climate defenders who wanted to prevent its destruction was evacuated by the police, who brought out several hundred people taking refuge in trees and abandoned farms.
Despite the end of the police operation, which lasted several days, the opponents are not giving up. They had organized a demonstration on Saturday which brought together more than 15,000 participants from all over Germany. Scuffles left several dozen injured among the demonstrators and the police.
Protest actions continued on Tuesday with occupations of railway tracks, blockades of roads and buildings, particularly in western Germany.
The lignite mine, which belongs to the German energy group RWE, is located between Cologne and Düsseldorf. Its extension, planned for several years, is considered necessary for Germany’s energy security, which must compensate for the interruption of Russian gas deliveries.
Activists believe that the current reserves of lignite are sufficient and denounce on the part of Germany a serious renunciation of its climate commitments.