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World News | Cleaning up for my German village is said to be almost complete

World News | Cleaning up for my German village is said to be almost complete

BERLIN, Jan. 15 (AP) A village in western Germany will be demolished to make way for a coal mine expansion, and activists have been cleared except for a couple still hiding in the tunnel, police said Sunday.

The drive to evict climate activists who had flooded the site in the small village of Luetzerath began on Wednesday morning and progressed steadily over the next few days. Police cleared people from dozens of makeshift structures, including farmhouses, the few remaining houses and tree houses.

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Thousands of people demonstrated nearby on Saturday against evictions and plans to expand the Garzweiler coal mine. There were standoffs with police as some protesters tried to reach the now-walled village and mine.

Environmentalists say bulldozing villages to expand the Garzweiler mine will lead to massive greenhouse gas emissions. The government and utility company RWE believe that coal is necessary to ensure Germany’s energy security.

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Regional and national governments, including the Environmental Green Party, struck a deal with RWE last year allowing it to destroy abandoned villages in exchange for ending coal use by 2030 rather than 2038.

The Green Party leader argued that the agreement met many of the demands of environmentalists and saved five other villages from being demolished, and that Luetzerath was the wrong symbol of protest. Activists reject this position.

Nearly 300 people have been evacuated from Luetzerath so far, police said in a statement on Sunday. They added, “The rescue of two people in the underground structure by RWE Power is continuing; apart from this, the police clearance has been completed.”

Twelve people were detained in connection with Saturday’s incident, they said. Demolition of buildings in Luetzerath is already underway.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg took part in a large protest on Saturday and a smaller demonstration on Sunday, singing and dancing with other activists on the edge of the mine, German news agency dpa reported.

Thunberg briefly sat on an embankment at the edge of the mine and was lifted a few steps away because she did not heed requests to move for her own safety, police said, adding that she then keep going. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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