Greta Thunberg joins anti-coal activists at protest in German village

© Henning Kaiser, AP

Climate activist Greta Thunberg and thousands of demonstrators marched in a large-scale protest in Germany on Saturday against the demolition of a village to make way for an open-cast coal mine extension.

Crowds of activists marched on the hamlet of Luetzerath in western Germany, waving banners, chanting and accompanied by a brass band, but there were also some violent clashes with police.

Luetzerath -- deserted for some time by its original inhabitants -- is set to disappear to make way for the extension of the adjacent open-cast coal mine, one of the largest in Europe, operated by energy firm RWE.

AFP saw protesters arriving in buses, holding banners with slogans including "Stop coal" and "Luetzerath lives!"

Thunberg marched at the front of the procession as demonstrators converged on the village, showing support for activists occupying it in protest over the coal mine extension.

AFP saw some protesters clash with police who were trying to move the march away from Luetzerath, which is surrounded by fences.

Local media reported stones being thrown at police. One protester was seen with a head injury, as ambulance sirens sounded near the protest site.

Police said protective barriers near the huge coal mine had been smashed by activists, who had then entered the mine site.

"The police barriers have been broken. To the people in front of Luetzerath: get out of this area immediately," the police tweeted.

"Some people have entered the mine. Move away from the danger zone immediately!"

Final stages of evacuation


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