Chaotic scenes played out in and around one of Germanys biggest lignite mines when hundreds of environmental activists dressed in white overalls broke cordons and clashed with riot police.
Protesters stormed the open-pit mine operated by energy giant RWE in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia on Saturday demanding urgent actions on climate change and making the European Union carbon neutral.
Ignoring police warnings that the mine is prone to landslides and that the avalanche of activists could well trigger them, protesters broke police lines and made their way down, facing off with mine workers in the process.
Video by RTs Ruptly video agency shows police rounding up some of the activists and pinning them to the ground, while others continue their run unimpeded.
The protest was a part of Ende Gelände (End of the Line) movement that started off in 2015 when some 1,500 activists blocked this very mine. The facility that produces lignite, or brown coal, became the focus of outrage after its operator unveiled plans to log a forest to expand it.
Many of the activists were carrying sleeping bags and brandishing flags and banners with environmental slogans.
Police later said that the protesters were taken out of the mine on special vehicles provided by RWE, noting that it was the “safest option.”
The anti-coal protests have gripped the German energy industry since Wednesday and are set to continue on Sunday. In a statement, the activists said that some 4,000 demonstrators would take part in the protests to block coal mines in western Germany in three waves.
Earlier on Friday, some 500 people have blocked supply of coal to the lRead More – Source