Villagers and activists were assaulted, handcuffed and hospitalized today while protecting olive trees at the site of a proposed coal plant in Turkey.

The Kolin Group wants the olive trees cut down to make way for a new coal power plant. The villagers of Yirca, in Western Turkey, rely on the olive trees, and have been peacefully protecting them for over a month. Greenpeace Mediterranean joined them, and filed a lawsuit on their behalf.

Olive trees.

Greenpeace Mediterranean contends that the Kolin Group must wait for the lawsuit ruling before proceeding. But hundreds of olive trees have already been cut down. And now, when villagers and activists tried to peacefully intervene, violence was used against them.

According to Greenpeace Mediterranean lawyer, Deniz Bayram, "By hacking down these trees they are bypassing due process. Rather than obtaining the necessary permits, they are paying the fines."

In September, the Rainbow Warrior visited Turkey to protest against the expansion of the coal industry. The ship's crew and all of us around the world stand with the people of Yirca village who are peacefully protecting these olive trees and opposing this coal plant.

If you want to support them - share this story with #ZeytinimiKesme or #ProtectOliveTrees

A young boy from the area.

Andrew Davies is the Digital mobilization and networking team leader at Greenpeace International.