2000 protesters storm coal mine

As the international environmental campaign against fossil fuels, Break Free, continues, thousands of protesters have blockaded a coal mine in Germany.

Two thousand activists wearing white overalls and breathing masks blockaded the Proschim open cut mine, near the Polish border. The campaign was organised by activist group 350.org in conjunction with other environmental groups such as Greenpeace.

The mine is operated by Swedish owned Vettenfall, and produces 20 million tonnes of brown coal per annum.

Slogans such as “Keep it on the ground” and “Climate crime scene” were written on banners placed on excavation machinery, with organisers saying the action will be held during the whole weekend.

Organisers of the campaign said “Each new tonne of coal us a tonne too many”, according to Yahoo News.

The Break Free campaign was launched earlier in May in other countries including Canada, USA, and Brazil.

In April, Vettenfall said it had reached an agreement to sell its German coal operations as it shifts from actions blamed for climate change. The company said it would sell its brown coal business to Czech-operated EPH.

Greenpeace had previously put in an offer for Vettenfall’s divested interests.

Earlier this month a fleet of nearly 200 kayaks and catamarans barricaded the harbour in Newcastle, to prevent the movement of coal from the port. Although peaceful, the protest resulted in the arrest of nearly 70 people.

Late last year activists were teargassed after breaking into another German coal mine, and chaining themselves to bucket wheel excavators.

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