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Hundreds of activists entered and occupied an open-pit coal mine in the western Rhineland region of Germany Saturday to protest Europe’s dependency on fossil fuels amid the mounting climate crisis. The protest ended on Sunday after police repeatedly ordered them to leave, citing life-threatening danger. Some of the protesters were pulled out by authorities.
The group was part of a larger gathering of an estimated 6,000 people who held several actions as part of the protest effort. Another group camped out on rail tracks leading to a coal-fired power station, blocking trains from entering or leaving the area. This is Kathrin Henneberger, a member of the environmental justice group Ende Gelände, which coordinated the actions.
Kathrin Henneberger: “More than 6,000 climate activists from across Europe were here in the Rhineland this weekend. We shut down the entire Rhineland region’s lignite production. … We are fighting for the immediate stop of coal production, but we have to do a lot more. We demand a different economic system, one that is socially fair and respects our planet’s limits.”