German police arrest Greta Thunberg at German coal village protest

LUETZERATH, Germany, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg was arrested with a group of activists on Tuesday during a protest against the demolition of the coal village of Luetzerath, police said.

A spokesman for the region’s police department said it was not yet clear what would happen to Thunberg, who joined protesters at the site last week to campaign against the expansion of the mine, owned by energy company RWE.

Backed by bulldozers, activists were cleared from buildings in the village along with some trees and an underground tunnel last weekend, but protesters including Thunberg staged a sit-in on Tuesday.

Thunberg was detained while protesting at the Garzweiler 2 open-pit coal mine, about 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) from Luetzerath, where she sat with a group of protesters near the edge of the mine.

Thunberg was seen sitting alone in a large police bus after being taken into custody, a Reuters witness said.

“We’re going to use force to take you for an ID check, so please cooperate,” a policeman told the group, according to Reuters footage.

“Greta Thunberg was part of a group of activists who rushed to the ledge. However, she was immediately stopped with the group from the danger zone and taken away by us to establish their identity,” a spokesman for the Aachen police told Reuters. An activist jumped into the mine.

It was not yet clear what would happen to Thunberg or the group she was detained with, or whether the activist who jumped the mine was injured, the spokesman said, adding that police would provide an update within an hour.

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Thunberg was carried by three policemen and held by one arm at a point not far from the edge of the tunnel, where she had previously sat with the group.

She was then led back to the police vans.

The Swedish climate activist addressed around 6,000 protesters who marched towards Lutzerum on Saturday, calling the mine’s expansion a “betrayal of present and future generations”.

“Germany is one of the biggest polluters in the world and must be held accountable,” he said.

Reporting by Wolfgang Rutte and Riham Algousa, Writing by Victoria Waltersee; Editing: Maria Sheehan, William McLean

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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