Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was removed from an anti-coal demonstration by police in Germany on Sunday after protesting the destruction of a village for the expansion of a nearby mine.
Climate activists have spent years protesting the demolition of the German village of Lützerath, slated for destruction so the Garzweiler coal mine can expand. Thousands of demonstrators converged on the town in recent days, leading to clashes with authorities in riot gear.
Thunberg, 20, was among several activists removed by police after failing to comply with orders to leave the area, German newspaper Bild reported. All but two protestors were removed later, and many structures built by activists, including treehouses, were destroyed.
The village is owned by the German energy company RWE, the BBC noted. No one has lived there for more than a year.
Clashes between activists and police have grown violent in recent days, and nine protestors were reportedly taken to area hospitals.
Thunberg lambasted the authorities for using aggressive tactics to clear the area.
“Germany is really embarrassing itself right now,” Thunberg told reporters on Friday. “They should stop this destruction immediately and also secure a just transition and climate justice for all.”
“The science is clear, we need to keep the carbon in the ground,” she added.
Activists say the expansion of the coal mine will further contribute to the climate crisis, releasing planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. German authorities argue the coal is needed for energy security.
Germany has pledged to phase out coal power generation by 2030.