BERLIN – German police removed environmental activists protesting outside a regional government building in Berlin on Friday amid ongoing protests to halt the partial clearance of a 12,000-year-old forest to mine for brown coal.
Demonstrators held a sit-in at the building that houses the regional delegation of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in the German capital in solidarity with fellow activists who built treehouses in Hambach Forest, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Cologne, the most populous city in North Rhine-Westphalia, to block the deforestation.
Police in Berlin removed the protesters, many of whom donned white coveralls traditionally used when dealing with toxic substances, from the regional government delegation building. In the Hambach Forest, too, security officials were working to evict activists holed up in treehouses.
The forest is operated by German utility company RWE, which has sought to clear space for a lignite mine.