Greta Thunberg detained by German police at coal mine protest


Jan. 18 (UPI) — Climate activist Greta Thunberg was detained by police for a second time Tuesday during protests over the expansion of a coal mine in the German village of Lützerath.

Thunberg was taking part in weekend demonstrations, with thousands of other protesters, against the demolition of the village to expand the Garzweiler lignite coal mine. Thunberg was detained by German police on Sunday and then again on Tuesday, police spokesperson Christof Hüls told CNN.


Thunberg has been tweeting since Friday about the protests where she was one of the main speakers.

“We are currently in Lützerath, a German village threatened to be demolished for an expansion of a coal mine. People have been resisting for years,” Thunberg tweeted Friday, showing a photo of her with a sign reading “keep it in the ground,” while urging more protesters to join their “climate strike.”

Lützerath bleibt!, a nonprofit organization working to stop the coal mine, tweeted videos of German police in riot gear chasing demonstrators.

“What we are experiencing today and the last few days is pure #Polizeigewalt,” the organization tweeted. “We are shocked at how the police are proceeding and condemn this behavior,” Lützerath bleibt! tweeted.

Climate activists have been fighting European energy company RWE’s plans to expand the coal mine for years, with many of them occupying buildings in the abandoned village before they were demolished. The activists argue burning coal violates the Paris Climate Agreement and will increase emissions that raise global temperatures.

“The carbon is still in the ground, and as long as the carbon is in the ground, this struggle is not over,” Thunberg told protesters at a rally Saturday.

“We need to stop the current destruction of our planet and sacrificing people to benefit the short-term economic growth and corporate greed,” she added.


RWE has claimed expanding the mine will not increase overall emissions because European caps will prevent it.

“In the current energy crisis, ensuring security of supply is vital,” the company said. “At the same time, protecting the climate remains one of the key challenges of our time. RWE supports both.”