The planned razing of the abandoned German village of Lützerath to expand a coal pit got into a mucky situation for police officers when hundreds of protesters, joined by famed activist Greta Thunberg, set up elaborate rope systems that had police stuck in the mud.
Police officers were then treated to the sight of a protester dressed as a mud wizard.
Despite the humorous nature of the social media posts sharing footage of the wizard and muddy police officers, at least 20 activists were taken to hospital for treatment of injuries received during a clash with the police, according to France24.
The protests, ongoing since last Wednesday, were unsuccessful in stopping the mining from taking place. According to the BBC, activists were hiding in treehouses and underground tunnels to stop the razing of the German village in favor of the expansion of the Garzweiler surface mine, due to the high density of lignite, also known as brown coal, in the area.
On Sunday, German police said they removed all but a final few activists who were attempting to revive Lützerath after its original inhabitants were evicted by 2021.
According to police estimations cited by various European media outlets, some 15,000 protestors attended the demonstrations but the event organizers insisted the number of attendees was closer to 35,000.
TW PolizeigewaltWas wir heute und die letzten Tage erleben ist pure #Polizeigewalt. Wir sind erschrocken, wie die Polizei vorgeht und verurteilen dieses Verhalten. Wir bleiben standhaft, denn wir wissen, wofür wir kämpfen: #Klimagerechtigkeit!(1/4) pic.twitter.com/scQCZaZ4ly— Lützerath bleibt! - Tag X seit 3.1. (@LuetziBleibt) January 14, 2023
"It's a gut punch that green ministers now try to sell this backroom coal deal as a success," Politico reported Olaf Bandt, the chair of the non-governmental German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation, said. "We won't accept that."
"It's a gut punch that Green ministers now try to sell this backroom coal deal as a success, we won't accept that"Olaf Bandt, the chair for the Environment and Nature Conservation