Greta Thunberg Protest: On Tuesday, Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate activist, was briefly taken into custody by police during a demonstration against the expansion of a coal mine in western Germany, which has become a highly debated topic in the country’s climate conversation.
A large and contentious protest has taken place over the past week in Lützerath, a small village that is planned to be demolished for the expansion of the nearby Garzweiler coal mine. On Saturday, a crowd of at least 15,000 individuals participated in the demonstration.
Thunberg, who is now 20 years old, has been a notable figure in the fight against climate change since she spoke at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference when she was still a teenager.
Thunberg arrived in Germany this week to take part in the Lützerath demonstrations. According to the German news agency dpa, she was among a group of protesters who were removed by police on Tuesday when they approached the perimeter of the mine. Reuters reported that she was subsequently released.
The Garzweiler mine, located in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, is one of three large open-pit coal mines in the area. The lignite coal extracted from these mines accounts for approximately 20% of Germany’s carbon emissions. Over the years, the expansion of the three mines has led to the eviction and bulldozing of approximately 50 villages in the region, many of which were centuries old.
The town of Lützerath, located approximately 15 miles from Germany’s western border, has been the center of protests since a court ruling was made to approve its destruction about a decade ago.