Berlin, Jan 12 (EFE).- An operation to clear climate activists occupying an abandoned town in western Germany entered its second day on Thursday, as police were struck with stones and pyrotechnics, leaving one officer injured.
Hundreds of activists have been occupying the abandoned village for months in protest against the expansion of a nearby coal mine.
“Police officers in Luetzerath are repeatedly pelted with pyrotechnics, stones and other objects. A police officer was recently injured in the leg by a firecracker,” Aachen police said on Twitter, adding that “this is not a peaceful protest”.
Since the operation began on Wednesday, most of the activists occupying the town have been removed by the police, but several remained on Thursday.
Police were also investigating reports of a network of underground tunnels being used by the protesters, adding that they were “checking the accuracy of this information.”
As the eviction continues, employees of RWE, the energy company that owns the mine nearby, have begun demolishing and removing huts and barricades built by the protesters.
A video shared on social media appeared to show activists hiding in a tunnel under the village grounds, who would be at risk if the bulldozers began the demolition.
“We do not know when the operation will end,” a police spokesman quoted by local media said.
Activists made allegations of police brutality on Wednesday, sharing videos on social media showing people being forcefully carried away and using pepper spray.
A demonstration has been called for Saturday in various parts of the country, with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg scheduled to travel to Luetzerath to take part
The demolition of the village to expand the brown coal mine is part of an agreement reached last year between the authorities of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and RWE.
The minister of Economy, Robert Habeck, has said the expansion of the mine will help complete the accelerated phase-out of coal by 2030, a key component of the federal government’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. EFE