Greta Thunberg, climate activists and a mud wizard protest new German coal mine

20 people were injured after clashes with the German police at a protest trying to prevent the building of a new coal mine.

 A person holds inflatable Earth as climate activists including Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future stage a protest demanding more action whilst G20 climate and environment ministers hold a meeting in Naples, Italy, July 22, 2021. (photo credit: GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE / REUTERS)
A person holds inflatable Earth as climate activists including Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future stage a protest demanding more action whilst G20 climate and environment ministers hold a meeting in Naples, Italy, July 22, 2021.
(photo credit: GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE / REUTERS)

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.

 Swedish activist Greta Thunberg speaks at Festival Park as the UN Climate Change Conference takes place in Glasgow on November 1. (credit: RUSSELL CHEYNE/REUTERS) Swedish activist Greta Thunberg speaks at Festival Park as the UN Climate Change Conference takes place in Glasgow on November 1. (credit: RUSSELL CHEYNE/REUTERS)

"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