Climate Change protesters occupy coal mine
Thousands occupy coal mine and rail tracks in Germany in climate change protest
About 2000 protesters broke through police lines and occupied the Garzweiler open pit coal mine west of Cologne in Germany on the weekend. The mining operation came to a standstill when railway tracks were occupied and diggers stopped.
The occupation was part of a larger protest against the planned expansion of the mine, which would include the destruction of several villages. The owner, energy giant RWE, also plans to expand its coal mine near the Hambacher Forest which has been occupied (and evicted and re-occupied) for several years.
On Friday, 21 June, between 20,000 and 40,000 students had protested in nearby Aachen as part of the Fridays for Future demonstrations, and organisers had called on people to come to protest against the coal mine the following day.
RWE is a Germany-based multi-national with an annual turnover of €13 billion. RWE is heavily invested in coal and nuclear power and sued the German government for compensation when the exit from nuclear power was decided in the wake of the meltdown in Fukushima in 2011.