Greta Thunberg detained

Famous climate change activist detained at German mine protest.

Photo of Thunberg speaking at a different Switzerland protest over the introduction of a railway through the city.

Markus Schweizer

Photo of Thunberg speaking at a different Switzerland protest over the introduction of a railway through the city.

Lily Harrison, News Editor

On Jan. 17, well known climate change and political activist Great Thunberg (20) was detained and quickly released during a German mine protest. 

Thunberg, who is well known for being a climate change campaigner, was taken into custody over a protest regarding the expansion of a very large mine in Lützerath, Germany. Although this detainment has been the most publicized occurrence, this isn’t the first arrest of Thunberg at this specific site.

While not much is known about her first detainment, many assume that it was due to a protest for similar reasons, specifically over the demolition of Lützerath in order to expand the mine and mining industry of Germany overall. 

Police stated that Thunberg was detained over the fear of disrupting the already unsteady ground of the mud due to the massing of so many people. They feared that the protesters could possibly set the dirt in motion because of the recent rainfall in the area. 

The police had warned Thunberg’s group that if they did not move, they would have to be forcefully detained. Thunberg, being the main speaker of this protest and rally, refused to vacate the abandoned buildings of Lützerath and eventually was physically picked up by police in riot gear and detained. 

Police said that Thunberg did not resist arrest and went peacefully. 

The reasoning behind the demolition of Lützerath was an agreement between the mining company of RWEG.DE  and the German government, that it would be more efficient and safer to remove the village in order to transport coal. 

Those protesting disagreed with the consensus between the two and argued that “Germany should not be mining any more lignite, and should focus on expanding renewable energy,” German News site Reuters summarized. 

There are many different controversial opinions over the arrest of Thunberg. Some commend the climate campaigner for her initiative, while others disagree and even call the entire debacle a “staged event,” stating that there was evidence that it was only a ploy to get attention on Lützerath.

Although many believe this, German police have denounced the staged speculations, and said that in reality Thunberg was genuinely detained and then released at a later date.

Either way, this specific event has brought light to the situation of Lützerath and many climate activists like Thunberg hope it will bring a change to the small German community.