Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Activists run towards the Garzweiler open-cast mine. The protests for more climate protection in the Rhineland continue. (Photo: David Young/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Activists run towards the Garzweiler open-cast mine. The protests for more climate protection in the Rhineland continue. (Photo: David Young/picture alliance via Getty Images)

'We Are Unstoppable, Another World Is Possible!': Hundreds Storm Police Lines to Shut Down Massive Coal Mine in Germany

"This is not only about coal power," said one Ende Gelände spokesperson. "This is about changing a destructive system that is based on the quest for infinite economic growth and exploitation. We are fighting for a future in which people count more than profits."

Jon Queally

Hundreds of climate activists stormed a massive open-pit coal mine in Germany on Saturday, entering a standoff with police inside the mine while thousands of others maintained separate blockades of the nation's coal infrastructure as part of a week-long series of actions designed to end Europe's dependency on fossil fuels.

Coordinated by the Ende Gelände alliance, the campaigners targeting the Garzweiler mine in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia as they evaded security forces across roads and fields before reaching the pit and descending its banks.

"We are unstoppable," the activists declared, "another world is possible!"

Watch:

"This is not only about coal power," said Sina Reisch, spokeswoman of Ende Gelände, in a statement. "This is about changing a destructive system that is based on the quest for infinite economic growth and exploitation. We are fighting for a future in which people count more than profits."

In photos:

Climate justice activists protect themselves from the sun with rescue blankets after they have been encased in the Garzweiler opencast mine by police officers and vehicles of employees of the opencast mine after breaking through a police blockade. The protests for more climate protection in the Rhineland continue. (Photo: Frederico Gambarini/picture alliance via Getty Images)

(Photo: Jens Volle/flickr/cc/Ende Gallende)

This is what it looked like, as one group put it, when "a thousand heroes enter the #Garzweiler mine":

The climate action group 350 Europe said the collective action gave them "chills" to witness:

As clashes began with secrurity forces, the activists declared on social media that they were not the source of the violence and called on the police to withdraw from the area:

With the Garzweiler mine occupation underway, a separate team of Ende Gelände activists on Saturday maintained a blockade of railway tracks leading to the coal-fired Neurath power station, also in Rhineland, that began on Friday. The activists spent the night on the tracks to keep any trains from coming or going.

"This year," said Nike Malhaus, another spokesperson for Ende Gelände, "the climate justice movement is hitting a new peak. We are more determined, more diverse and more united than ever before. The climate crisis is already a reality, especially for people in the global South. We are bringing the age of fossil fuels to an end today."

In a tweet on Saturday afternoon, Kathrin Henneberger, another spokersperson for the group, said [English translation]: "This weekend, we have completely shut down the CO2 source in Europe, the Rhineland lignite mining area. No coal train goes to the power plants anymore. No excavator works anymore in the opencast mines. It is amazing !!!! Thanks to all the thousands of brave ones."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Parents Demand Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty 'For the Sake of the Children'

"We cannot remain silent as the fossil fuel industry and world leaders rob our children of a livable future," parents from 32 nations wrote in an open letter.

Brett Wilkins ·


'We Can Do Better' Than Biden's Paltry Student Debt Relief Plan, Says AOC

The president's approach, said the New York Democrat, is "just enough to anger the people against it *and* the people who need forgiveness the most."

Julia Conley ·


Right-Wing Supreme Court Poised to Make US Gun Carnage Even Worse

The U.S. Supreme Court's right-wing majority could soon "obliterate even the mildest of gun regulations in service of its gun lobby masters."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Enough Is Enough!': Thousands Protest Outside NRA Convention in Texas

"I'm just tired of the NRA subordinating children's rights for gun rights," said one gun lobby opponent just three days after the school massacre in Uvalde.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Manchin of the House' Kurt Schrader Officially Defeated in Oregon Primary

"This win proves that voters are hungry for leaders who will fight for working families, not billionaires and Big Pharma," said one group that backed progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo