By Alex Jones
HUNDREDS of climate change protestors have clashed with riot police after storming a coal mine in Germany.
Incredible shots show climate change activists grappling with armoured police; huge crowds of anti-fossil fuel campaigners donning protective clothing storming into the coal-producing quarry; and the protestors coming face-to-face with workers at the Garzweiler surface mine near Dusseldorf.
The climate protection champions flocked to the mine in west Germany on Saturday (22 June) to campaign against fossil fuel use and strip mining, despite police warnings that the mine was unstable and that illegal entry could cause a potentially catastrophic landslide.
Both sides, the police and campaigners, accused the other or being ‘heavy-handed’ with a series of injuries reported. Police reportedly used pepper spray to hold back activists.
A percentage of the protestors stayed on site over night before being moved on around mid-morning on Sunday. Activists also temporarily blocked a railway line that is known to be used to transport coal.
Germany has vowed to go carbon neutral by 2050 and abandoning fossil fuels by 2038 but ardent activists say this is not soon enough – calling for more urgent, drastic action.
On Friday (21 June) approximately 40,000 protestors amassed in the German city of Aachen – around 40 miles from the Garzweiler surface mine, operated by energy giant RWE – in support of the school strike ‘Fridays for Future’ movement launched by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.
Czech photographer David Tesinksky managed to capture these remarkable shots at the Ende Gelände (loose translation: ‘End of the Line’) protest.
“It was very powerful and heart-warming to see how people unite against organisations and people who are destroying our planet,” he said.
“This was the moment when we, the ones who realise that we have to act, showed what protest actually looks like.
“On Saturday, I must’ve said ‘wow’ to myself dozens of times. Because that’s what it was. Wow.”
Nike Malhaus, spokeswoman of Ende Gelände, said that the German government must act now to save the Earth’s climate.
“Nothing less than our future is at stake,” she said.
“We will definitely not wait until 2038 to phase out coal, we are acting now.
“If we keep burning coal for another twenty years, it is impossible to stay within the 1.5°C limit. Today we are taking the coal phase out into our own hands because the government is failing to protect the climate.”