German climate activists glue themselves to Siemens building

Opponents of plans by Siemens to provide equipment for a large Australian coal mining project blockaded the German engineering conglomerate’s premises in the Bavarian city of Erlangen on Thursday.

Activists from the Extinction Rebellion movement glued themselves to the building’s entrance before freeing themselves later with solvents. Between 10 and 15 demonstrators took part in the protest, police said.

The action was one of a number across Germany over recent days and follows a statement from Siemens chief executive Joe Kaeser on Sunday that the company would build rail-signalling infrastructure for the mine.

A Siemens spokesman said that no damage had been caused and the company would not take any legal steps against the demonstrators as long as the protests remained peaceful. “There is a right to freedom of speech,” he said.

Police also refrained from becoming involved.

In his statement, Kaeser said Siemens would honour its contract with the Indian conglomerate leading the project, Adani, to build rail-signalling infrastructure for the Carmichael mine in Queensland.

The open-cast mine is one of the world’s largest and is expected to produce 2.3 billion tons of coal over 60 years. Coal is one of Australia’s top exports.

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