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German Police Use Tear Gas to Clear Climate Activists from Site of Coal Mine

HeadlineJan 17, 2023

In Germany, police say they have evicted all of the climate activists who were occupying the western village of Lützerath. Hundreds of activists have occupied the deserted town for months to prevent the area from being mined for lignite, a highly polluting type of coal. Over the weekend, police used tear gas, water cannons and batons to clear the encampment. Medics say at least 20 climate protesters were injured. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg joined the protests over the weekend. Video posted online show police pushed her and others from the site.

Greta Thunberg: “The fact that all of you are here is a sign of hope. This is only a part of a much larger global climate movement, a movement for climate and social justice and racial justice. Lützerath — what happens in Lützerath doesn’t stay in Lützerath. Germany, as one of the biggest polluters in the world, has an enormous responsibility. … You are showing clearly today that the changes will not come from the people in power, from governments, from corporations, from the so-called leaders. No, the real leaders are here. It is the people who are sitting in treehouses and those who have been defending Lützerath, for example, for years now. … The carbon is still in the ground. We are still here. Lützerath is still there. And as long as the carbon is in the ground, this struggle is not over.”

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