Thousands of people demonstrated in persistent rain on Saturday to protest the clearance and demolition of a village in western Germany that is due to make way for the expansion of a coal mine. There were standoffs with police as some protesters tried to reach the edge of the mine and the village itself, transmits apnews.com.
Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg joined the demonstrators as they protested the clearance of Luetzerath, walking through the nearby village of Keyenberg and past muddy fields. Protesters chanted “Every village stays” and “You are not alone.”
Organizers said about 35,000 people took part, while police put the figure at 15,000. On the sidelines of the protest, police said people broke through their barriers and some got into the Garzweiler coal mine.
Some who tried to get to the edge of the mine were pushed back. And German news agency dpa reported that police used water cannons and batons just outside Luetzerath itself, which is now fenced off, against hundreds of people who got that far. The situation calmed down after dark.
Some protesters have complained of what they say was undue force by police and about the size of the police response this week. Police, meanwhile, said some demonstrators had thrown fireworks at officers and damaged patrol cars.