Greta Thunberg in Lützerath: Police deny staged abduction

Climate protest in the lignite mining area
Greta Thunberg in Lützerath: Police deny staged abduction

Police officers carry Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg out of a group of protesters and activists and away from the edge of the Garzweiler II opencast lignite mine

© Roberto Pfeil / Picture Alliance

Police officers hold Greta Thunberg while photographers take their pictures – this scene has triggered accusations of “staging” on social networks. The police firmly deny having “posed” with the Swede.

The images of how police officers in full protective gear first led the world-famous climate activist Greta Thunberg away from the edge near Lützerath and then carried her away went through the media. That’s only part of the story though – what happened beforehand caused plenty of discussion on social media. A video showing the moments before their removal at least raised doubts about the authenticity of the scene. It shows how two police officers hold the 20-year-old Swede by the arms while she is being photographed by journalists. The mood among everyone present is relaxed, at the beginning of the 35-second clip Thunberg laughs. In response to an acoustically incomprehensible question, she smiles. Shortly thereafter, the officials take Thunberg away.

Aachen police chief Weinspach: “We are not the extras for the staging of a woman Thunberg”

A spokesman for the Aachen police rejected the impression on Wednesday. The scene came about when Thunberg, together with other climate activists, demonstrated on Tuesday directly at the edge of the Rhenish lignite mining area, which was dangerous and therefore prohibited. All members of the group were then briefly taken into custody to determine their personal details. The spokesman emphasized that it was not an arrest.

In this situation, Thunberg was photographed by photojournalists who were present. Allowing this is a requirement of press freedom, said the police spokesman. The police officers would definitely not have “posed” with the activist. When it was Thunberg’s turn, their data were recorded. The activist group was then taken away from the edge of the mine and then “released from the police measure”. All activists were treated equally. Aachen’s police chief Dirk Weinspach also rejected the allegations. “We would never give up to make such recordings, we are not the extras for the staging of a woman Thunberg.”


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