Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Germany: Climate Activists End Coal Blockade in Garzweiler

Climate
Protestors and police stand on ether side of railway tracks. dpa / picture-alliance

Police have cleared 250 climate activists who stayed overnight at the Garzweiler brown coal mine in western Germany, officials said Sunday.


However, some protesters were still blocking nearby train tracks that usually serve as a coal transport route from one of Germany's biggest open-pit mines, near the cities of Düsseldorf and Cologne.

Spokeswoman Kathrin Henneberger confirmed the protesters had now left the mine.

"In the morning, there was a brief escalation with the police. Officers encircled a group, although all participants intended to clear the area around 10 a.m. as agreed and announced," Henneberger told Germany's dpa news agency.

Activists Stormed the Mine

Around 1,000 activists from the Ende Gelände (End of the Line) group marched to the huge mine on Saturday, before breaking through a police line and storming the pit.

Wearing white overalls, the protesters could be seen on videos published online, hooting and clapping as police ordered them to stay put.

Protesters and police accused each other of combative behavior in the mine, causing injuries. Police said eight officers were hurt in scuffles with protesters.

Police deployed pepper spray and eventually pulled some protesters from the site, citing safety concerns.

Weekend of Rallies

Ende Gelände describes itself as a civil disobedience protest movement to limit global warming.

Although the Ende Gelände protest grabbed most of the headlines, it was a small part of a much larger rally on Saturday from the town of Keyenberg along the edge of the mine.

The 8,000-strong protest included students from the Fridays for Future rallies against climate change, a youth movement started last year by 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg.

That, too, was dwarfed by the estimated 40,000 attendees from across Europe that came to the nearby city of Aachen on Friday to campaign for more action on climate change.

Garzweiler and the nearby mine at Hambach have been the focus of many protests in recent years because of plans to cut down an old-growth forest to enlarge both mines.

Months of climate protests by students, and a sharp rise in the polls for Germany's Green party, has prompted Chancellor Angela Merkel to throw her weight behind the goal of making Germany climate neutral by 2050.

That would mean Europe's largest economy would no longer add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

However, European Union leaders failed this week to agree on how to make the whole bloc carbon neutral by 2050.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Deutsche Welle.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Deserted view of NH24 near Akshardham Temple on day nine of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus on April 2, 2020 in New Delhi, India. Raj K Raj / Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India is home to 21 of the world's 30 most polluted cities, but recently air pollution levels have started to drop dramatically as the second-most populated nation endures the second week of a 21-day lockdown amidst coronavirus fears, according to The Weather Channel.

Read More Show Less
A Unicef social mobilizer uses a speaker as she carries out public health awareness to prevent the spread and detect the symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus by UNICEF at Mangateen IDP camp in Juba, South Sudan on April 2. ALEX MCBRIDE / AFP / Getty Images

By Eddie Ndopu

  • South Africa is ground zero for the coronavirus pandemic in Africa.
  • Its townships are typical of high-density neighbourhoods across the continent where self-isolation will be extremely challenging.
  • The failure to eradicate extreme poverty is a threat beyond the countries in question.
Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The outside of the Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Md. on Nov. 9, 2015. Al Drago / CQ Roll Call

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of two malarial drugs to treat and prevent COVID-19, the respiratory infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, despite only anecdotal evidence that either is proven effective in treating or slowing the progression of the disease in seriously ill patients.

Read More Show Less
Some speculate that the dissemination of the Antarctic beeches or Nothofagus moorei (seen above in Australia) dates to the time when Antarctica, Australia and South America were connected. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

A team of scientists drilled into the ground near the South Pole to discover forest and fossils from the Cretaceous nearly 90 million years ago, which is the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, as the BBC reported.

Read More Show Less
The recovery of elephant seals is one of the "signs of hope" that scientists say show the oceans can recover swiftly if we let them. NOAA / CC BY 2.0

The challenges facing the world's oceans are well known: plastic pollution could crowd out fish by 2050, and the climate crisis could wipe out coral reefs by 2100.

Read More Show Less