It’s going to be a big weekend for Germany’s climate justice movement. In the heart of the Rhineland coal mining region, thousands of people from all over Europe are going to take to the streets and join mass protests in and around the lignite mines to demand climate action and a faster phase-out of coal.

In a powerful show of solidarity, the young people from Fridays for Future have recently declared their support for Ende Gelände – a mass action of civil disobedience that involves people using their bodies to block coal infrastructure. This is a first, and it sends a powerful message to the German government – if leaders don’t act with urgency required by the climate crisis, we’re prepared to take the future into our own hands!

Are you planning to join? Here’s an overview of what’s happening in the Rhineland this weekend: 

A number of colourful and bold protests are planned from Friday onwards. After six months of impressive strikes, international Fridays For Future groups will join forces in Aachen for the first central European school strike on Friday, June 21. On Saturday, the students will take their protest to one of the biggest sources of CO2 in Europe – the Garzweiler lignite mine. From 11am, there will be a demonstration walking from Hochneukirch to Keyenberg, which is the next village set to be devoured by RWE’s giant coal excavators.

In Keyenberg, a group called#AlleDörferBleiben will host a festival to protest against the expansion of the coal mine and against inaction on climate change. It’s organised by residents of the village whose homes are threatened by the encroaching mine.

Parallel to this, Ende Gelände is organising a mass action of civil disobedience to demand an immediate end to coal. Equipped with their iconic suits, the activists will head into the mines and block the destructive coal infrastructure.

In light of Germany’s recent ‘coal compromise’, which will allow coal to be burned for the next 19 years, these protests are a powerful sign that the anti-coal movement is not giving up without a fight. For social, economic and climate justice, coal has to stay in the ground!

If you’re not planning to join the protests, you can show your support by telling your friends and networks about what is happening in the Rhineland. For example, share this blog and follow our live updates on social media.

If you can’t make it, there will be plenty more opportunities to be part of the growing climate movement this summer. Climate camps will be taking place in both the Rhineland region and near Leipzig in August.

On September 20th, the students from Fridays for Future are calling for a global climate strike – no matter where you live, this will be a chance to get out on the streets and join the loud voices calling for climate justice in Germany, and around the world!

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