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World News | Thousands protest coal mine expansion in Germany

World News | Thousands protest coal mine expansion in Germany

Erkelenz (Germany), Jan. 14 (AP) Thousands of people demonstrated amid continued rain Saturday to protest the clearing and demolition of a village in western Germany to make way for an expansion of a coal mine.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg joined demonstrators protesting against the Luetzerath cleanup as they marched through the nearby village of Keyenberg and past muddy fields. Protesters chanted “every village stay” and “you are not alone”.

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During the protest, police said people broke through barriers and some entered the Garzweiler mine.

As the demonstrations have progressed, the cleanup of Luetzerath has also made great strides.

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The drive to oust climate activists who are hiding in villages began on Wednesday morning. In the first three days of the operation, police said about 470 people left the scene, 320 of them voluntarily.

They said Friday afternoon that there were no longer any militants on the remaining buildings or on rooftops. They said on Saturday they still had to tackle 15 “structures” such as tree houses and try to access the tunnel where two people are believed to be trapped, German news agency dpa reported. Work to demolish the building is already underway.

Luetzerath has become a prominent figure critical of Germany’s climate efforts.

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.

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. (Associated Press)

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

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