Hundreds of activists broke into several
coal mines in eastern Germany on Saturday to call for an immediate
end to coal use, according to organizers and the energy firm Leag.
Protesters ran into the Jaenschwalde and Welzow-Sued open-cast mining sites in the eastern state of Brandenburg, as well as the United Schleenhain lignite mining area in the neighbouring state of Saxony.
The Ende Gelaende group organized the action to protest the government's climate policies. The German government aims to phase out the use of coal by 2038, which activists say is too long. Scuffles broke out at the sites between police and activists.
In Jaenschwalde, three officers were slightly injured, according to a police spokesman. At the mine in Saxony, protesters violently broke through a police barricade with blows and kicks, despite statements by Ende Gelaende that there would be no violence against people.
The protest group estimated that 2,000 people in total had broken into the three sites, while police spoke of several hundred. Coal supporters held a morning vigil in Jaenschwalde to call for the preservation of the mines.
It was unclear whether protesters would be forced off the sites. Police were being instructed to not put themselves in danger, which is why they did not chase the activists after they stormed the mines.
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