HAMBACH FOREST, Germany – Riot police were making efforts on Thursday to remove environmental activists from atop a wooden structure in a forest in western Germany due to what police said were concerns over safety.
The activists were staging an ongoing protest in a bid to thwart plans to clear the forested area in order to make way for a coal mine extension.
“All treehouse residents are required by the construction supervising authorities to leave their structures in Hambacher Forst voluntarily. Make sure you follow the instructions and stay peaceful!” regional police said in a tweet.
But police later resorted to using “heavy equipment” in order to remove the activists from the structure, having warned that officers would have to “coerce” any activists who did not come down.
The protesters have been camped out in a forested area some 40 kilometers west of Cologne in a bid to prevent the forest from being cleared by German energy company RWE to allow for the expansion of a lignite mine.