Police remove Greta Thunberg from climate protest hours after court hearing

Global climate activist Greta Thunberg was forcibly removed by police for blocking oil tankers in a road as part of a climate demonstration in the Swedish city of Malmo — just hours after appearing in court for a similar protest last month.

Thunberg, hours after she was fined for disobeying police orders in a June protest, went right back to the fray on Monday, sitting defiantly with her legs crossed among other climate protesters to block the tankers heading to a terminal in the southern Swedish city’s harbor.

Thunberg is seen in Reuters video footage being hoisted by police to the side of the road and later driven away in a police vehicle.

“It is absurd that those who act in line with science should pay the price for it,” Thunberg told reporters outside the court Monday.

“We know that we cannot save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed,” she added.

Thunberg, 20, became a household name as a teenager for inspiring global youth-led protests and climate action. She is known for her blunt, no-nonsense attitude on climate issues, demanding leaders implement urgent measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, she dismissed political promises on climate change as 30 years of “blah blah blah.”

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Thunberg said she would not be appealing the decision from the Malmo district court to fine her for disobeying the police, which carries a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment. The court ordered her to pay about $240 dollars, which included a contribution to Sweden’s fund for crime victims, according to the Associated Press.

“We are in an emergency; due to that my acting was legitimate,” she said, calling for laws to protect society from “self-destructing greed,” which she blamed for fueling global warming.

Thunberg’s detention comes amid a summer of climate crises across the world, with many European capitals recording their hottest temperatures on record. Wildfires are ravaging Greece and Algeria and extreme heat is scorching parts of the United States and Asia.

Such deadly and protracted heat waves would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change, according to a study published Tuesday by the World Weather Attribution network, a coalition of scientists that analyses how the warming atmosphere influences extreme weather events.

The United Nations has long labeled climate change a global emergency and Secretary General António Guterres tweeted this week that “heat waves are becoming more frequent, more intense and longer — all due to the impacts of the climate crisis.”

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This is not Thunberg’s first skirmish with law enforcement authorities. In January she was detained by police in Germany for protesting the demolition of villages to make way for coal mining. “Germany is really embarrassing itself right now,” she told reporters at the time. In March, she was also detained by police for protesting outside Norwegian government buildings after they decided to build two wind farms on land traditionally used by the country’s indigenous Sami population.

“Reclaim the Future,” the group that organized the protest, hailed Thunberg’s participation and pledged in an Instagram post that despite fines and legal sanctions, “the resistance continues.”

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