A village in Germany, Lutzerath, is about to be cleared and demolished to make way for the expansion of the Garzweiler coal mine.

As the demonstration took place, the clearance of Lutzerath was well advanced.
As the demonstration took place, the clearance of Lutzerath was well advanced. (Federico Gambarini/dpa / AP Archive)

Thousands of people have demonstrated in persistent rain to protest the clearance and demolition of a village in western Germany that is due to make way for the expansion of a coal mine.

Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg joined the demonstrators on Saturday as they protested the clearance of Lutzerath, walking through the nearby village of Keyenberg and past muddy fields. Protesters chanted “Every village stays” and “You are not alone.”

Greenhouse gas emissions

On the sidelines of the protest, police said people broke through their barriers and some got into the Garzweiler coal mine.

As the demonstration took place, the clearance of Luetzerath was well advanced.

The operation to evict climate activists holed up in the village kicked off on Wednesday morning. In the first three days of the operation, police said that about 470 people had left the site, 320 of them voluntarily.

They said on Friday afternoon that there were no longer any activists in the remaining buildings or on their roofs.

German news agency dpa reported that they said Saturday they still had to tackle 15 “structures” such as tree houses and were trying to get into a tunnel in which two people were believed to be holed up. Work to demolish buildings was already underway.

Lutzerath has become a cause celebre for critics of Germany's climate efforts.

Environmentalists say bulldozing the village to expand the Garzweiler mine would result in huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.

READ MORE: German police launch operation to evict activist from disputed village

Source: TRTWorld and agencies