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In Europe’s largest open pit mine, the “Rheinisches Revier“, in North-Rhine Westphalia, near Erkelenz, organisations against climate changed announced they would be protesting on the weekend from 19th to 24th of June. “Ende Gelände”, Fridays-For-Future and Greenpeace are expecting thousands of people to take part to demonstrate the open pit coal mining and also the relocation of entire villages. The continued usage of coal as a fossil fuel until 2038 is untenable for many activists and one of the main topics this year.

Early on, police were worried about escalations, especially in connection to students demonstrating with Fridays-For-Future. They were also afraid of illegal and violent activities.

It is planned to block the rail tracks leading to the mine and stop production and shipping. Demonstrators with Fridays-For-Future plan to march through nearby Aachen and then later join a large rally called “Alle Dörfer bleiben” (“All villages stay”) before joining “Ende Gelände on the outskirts of the area. Greenpeace had also announced they would join this demonstration.

There are different views on the end of coal usage – “Ende Gelände” want an immediate stop of the mining, while Fridays-For-Future think 2030 a realistic goal – but since all are fighting for the same thing, they are solidly united.

Lea Hüntemann

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