Greta Thunberg charged with disobeying police during climate protest: report

Photo of climate activist Greta Thunberg during a June 19 demonstration that reportedly led to her being charged by Swedish authorities for disobeying police orders. Greta Thunberg/Instagram

Climate activist Greta Thunberg, 20, has reportedly been charged with disobeying a police order in her home country of Sweden after she was photographed being hauled away from a climate protest by two officers.

The incident occurred on June 19, when a group of young climate activists blocked oil tankers from driving down a road at the port of Malmo, a city in southern Sweden. Thunberg wrote in an Instagram post that day saying demonstrators had blocked the road for three days.

“The climate crisis is already a matter of life and death for countless people. We choose to not be bystanders, and instead physically stop the fossil fuel infrastructure. We are reclaiming the future,” she wrote alongside photos of young people sitting in a line along a road.

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Local daily newspaper Sydsvenskan was the first to report that Thunberg had been charged by police in connection with the demonstration.

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Police told the outlet that about thirty trucks were prevented from driving down the road. When police deemed the protest was causing too much of a disturbance, they ordered that protesters move their demonstration to a nearby lawn.

“Everyone was informed individually and it was also filmed by a police officer when this was done,” the police external commander in charge of the scene told Sydsvenskan.

Four of the nine protesters who were blocking the road refused to move, including Thunberg. Photos taken at the scene show two police officers escorting Thunberg arm-in-arm away from the road. One photo showed the 20-year-old climate activist’s feet fully off the ground as she was hauled away.

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If convicted for disobeying a police order, Thunberg can be handed a fine or up to six months in prison. At least one other climate activist was also charged in Malmo district court, Sydsvenskan reported.

“You have the freedom to demonstrate, but you must not demonstrate in such a way that it causes disturbances for others,” prosecutor Charlotte Ottosen said, according to Sydsvenskan.

The Swedish central prosecutor’s press office could not immediately confirm the report. Thunberg’s representatives could not be reached.

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