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Greta Thunberg says graphic image shows that her critics are getting ‘desperate’

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg arrives for a press conference in the framework of COP25 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain on Dec. 9, 2019.
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg arrives for a press conference in the framework of COP25 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain on Dec. 9, 2019. EPA/JUAN CARLOS HIDALGO

Warning: This story contains graphic content. Reader discretion is advised.

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg once again took to Twitter on Saturday to hit back at critics after a disturbing illustration surfaced online in Alberta earlier this week that appeared to show her likeness engaging in a sexual act.

They are starting to get more and more desperate,” Thunberg wrote on Twitter Saturday morning. “This shows that we’re winning.”

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The image, which appears to be a sticker or decal, shows the silhouette of a naked woman or girl from behind, with her two long braids being pulled back by hands behind her.

The image resembles 17-year-old Thunberg, who often wears her hair in two long braids. The word “Greta” is written across her lower back.

An Alberta energy company is facing a wave of criticism on social media for an image that includes its company logo and a woman or girl resembling climate activist Greta Thunberg.
An Alberta energy company is facing a wave of criticism on social media for an image that includes its company logo and a woman or girl resembling climate activist Greta Thunberg. Supplied to Global News

Due to its graphic nature, Global News has chosen to obscure part of the image.

At the bottom of the illustration, a logo for X-Site Energy Services — an Alberta-based company — can be seen.

READ MORE: Alberta energy company under fire for image appearing to depict Greta Thunberg

Thunberg, a national of Sweden, has become an international symbol for her climate activism, empowering young people across the globe to call on world leaders to act on climate change.

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She has appeared at demonstrations across the world and has addressed leaders at the United Nation and other climate summits.

Last year, she made a number of stops in Canada, including at a rally at the Alberta legislature that drew a crowd of thousands.

READ MORE: ‘How dare you’ — Greta Thunberg gives powerful, emotional speech to the UN

According to its website, X-Site Energy Services is an oilfield and industrial-based company serving central Alberta and northern British Columbia.

Global News reached general manager Doug Sparrow on the phone Wednesday night. When asked repeatedly if his company had printed the sticker, he repeatedly responded that his company did not post the photo of the sticker online.

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Global News tried several times to ask Sparrow about the origin of the sticker with the company’s logo on it, but he would not comment on that. The phone call lasted just over four minutes.

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The illustration and the company have been met with backlash.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said it finds the decal “completely unacceptable.”

READ MORE: Thousands rally with Greta Thunberg at Alberta legislature for climate strike amid counter-rally

“This kind of behaviour is not representative of Canada’s oil and natural gas industry, service companies who work in the industry, or the province of Alberta,” Stacey Hatcher, an association vice-president, said in a release Friday.

“The industry holds human rights and social integrity in high regard, and we must speak up when we see behaviour so contrary to our values.”

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The House of Commons on Friday unanimously adopted a motion put forward by NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice to condemn the decal.

“That the House condemn the sticker that appeared in the media today encouraging a violent sexual assault on a young environmental activist, and all other racist and intolerant that image might lead us to,” Boulerice said, calling the decal “disgusting.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Status of Women Minister Leela Aheer have also denounced the graphic.

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In a news release on Friday, Red Deer RCMP said they had completed their investigation into a vehicle decal that “purportedly depicts a well-known climate change activist engaging in a sexual act.”

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Officers determined that the decal “does not meet the elements of child pornography… nor does the decal depict a non-consensual act that would be a direct threat to the person.”

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“Alberta RCMP do not believe it constitutes a criminal offence,” the release reads.

-With files from Karen Bartko and The Canadian Press.