Greta Thunberg Released After Being Detained by Police at Coal Protest

Photo of Greta Thunberg being carried by police officers

Greta Thunberg was briefly arrested by German police along with several other protesters on Tuesday at a demonstration against the expansion of a coal mine. Thunberg was abducted by police officers and finally seen sitting alone in a police bus. But just hours later, the 20-year-old Swedish climate activist was released after her identity was verified. the police are said to have reported Reuters.

Police claimed all other protesters were also released without official arrest or charge after ID checks, according to Reuters.

Police arrested the activists amid ongoing protests against the expansion of an open-pit lignite mine near Lützerath in western Germany. Lignite is known as the dirtiest form of coal. It’s a soft brown fossil fuel –less energy density than its glossy black counterpart – and it produces more CO2 emissions and other pollutants per unit of energy than gas or any other type of coal. The opencast mine near Lützerath already produces around 25 million tons of lignite every year, and the German energy supplier RWE wants to increase the production capacity.

To complete the planned expansion, the German authorities gave RWE permission to demolish the small village of Lützerath. The town’s residents were being expelled in preparation, and the village had been mostly evacuated Residents until 2017. But then environmental activists moved in to occupy the site and slow or halt development of the mine.

Police removed almost all these occupiers Last week, some after two years of uninterrupted settlement of the doomed village, which many activists used described as excessive force. A video showed police attack Demonstrators with batons. (In contrast, another video showed police officers decked out head-to-toe in riot gear struggling to stand upright in thick mud while being taunted and knocked over by a person who appeared to be wearing some sort of monk’s costume.)

And although police explained On Friday “there are no more activists in the village of Lützerath”, thousands of people showed up for protests over the weekend, including Thunberg. Addressing the crowd on Saturday, she called the mine’s expansion a “betrayal of present and future generations.”

The federal government has already announced this phase-out of coal as a power source until 2030. RWE agreed to end Lignite-based power generation over the same period. In November, the country’s cabinet approved a bill to shut down all but two coal-fired power plants in a northwestern German state. But a shortage of Russian natural gas deposits results the war in Ukraine has thrown a wrench in the country’s planned energy transition, according to German authorities and government officials.

An expansion of lignite mining seems completely opposed to the coal phase-out within seven years, but RWE claims that the deposits under Lützerath are also necessary for this winter. after the BBC. “The coal under the former Lützerath settlement, which is close to what is now the edge of the Garzweiler opencast mine, is needed to optimally utilize the lignite park during the energy crisis,” wrote the energy company a press statement.

https://gizmodo.com/greta-thunberg-detained-police-german-coal-protest-1849997250 Greta Thunberg Released After Being Detained by Police at Coal Protest

Zack Zwiezen

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