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Germany: environmental activists against coal, clashes in Luzerat – Europe

Coal must remain underground, Luetezarth must be saved. With this message, thousands of people – 35,000 according to the organizers, 10,000 for the police – demonstrated in Germany against energy extraction by the energy giant Rwe, planned in a small village in the land of North Rhine-Westphalia. At the head of the procession is the Swedish Greta Thunberg. And it was the well-known environmentalist who prompted the activists who have occupied the site since 2020 to resist: “You are the real leaders!” A demonstration marked by violent clashes with the police, who used water cannons, batons and pepper spray, a police spokesman told ANSA. According to the official, the infiltration of the violent black bloc elements responsible for the escalation was clear. “About fifteen activists – as reported by Dietmar Bruening – forcibly stormed the mine. It is very risky. The ground is slippery and wet, and they risk being buried.” Greta’s speech was eagerly awaited, and he was very tough on the Greens, accusing the German government and Germany, among other things, of being “among the most polluting countries on the planet with enormous responsibilities.” “You are proof that changes will not come from those in power, or from governments or from corporations, or from so-called leaders. No, leaders are here. They are the people sitting in the treehouses who have been really advocating for years,” Luetzerath said, speaking to Crowd cheering. He pressed “Lützerat is still here, and as long as the coal remains in the ground, this fight will not end.” “The fact that the Greens have reached compromises with companies like this shows their priorities,” he was also accused of speaking to the German news agency (DPA). She added, quoting Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” dark earth: “I’ve been here before and today it’s a completely different place. It really feels like Mordor.” “It shows what man is capable of when assumptions are wrong.” Even Greenpeace, part of a broad coalition of anti-coal-mining associations, decried the consequences of the mine’s potential success: “Luetzerath is a limit we cannot cross. If all the coal he finds impossible Germany sticks to the Paris Agreement,” says Carsten Smid, energy expert at Greenpeace Germany. “Roy’s greed cannot be more important than the health of citizens and climate protection. This coal has to stay underground.”

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