Pioneering climate campaigner Greta Thunberg was forcibly removed by police from a protest in the Swedish city of Malmo just hours after a court fined her for disobeying a police order during a similar action.
Thunberg, 20, admitted during the legal proceedings on Monday that she had disobeyed the police order not to protest but pleaded not guilty and said she was acting out of necessity because of the ongoing global warming crisis.
Climate Emergency Protest
The activist was charged after refusing to comply with police orders to leave the scene during the protest, said Swedish Prosecution Authority spokeswoman Annika Collin.
Thunberg told the court: ‘I believe that we are in an emergency that threatens life, health and property.
‘It’s correct that I was at that place on that day, and it’s correct that I received an order that I didn’t listen to, but I want to deny the crime.’
Asked by reporters if she would be more cautious in the future following her fine, Thunberg said climate protesters were ‘definitely not going to back down’.
‘We know that we cannot save the world by playing by the rules because the laws have to be changed. It is absurd that those who act in line with science should pay the price for it,’ she told reporters in the Malmo District Court.
‘I believe that we are in an emergency that threatens life, health and property. Countless people and communities are at risk both in the short term and in the long term.’
She appeared in court after together with activists from the group Take Back the Future (Ta Tillbaka Framtiden) after she blocked a road used by oil trucks in Malmo harbour on June 19.
After Monday’s sentencing, Thunberg and other activists headed back to Malmo harbour only to be carried away by police again for blocking traffic.
The court ordered Thunberg to pay a fine of 1,500 Krona (525AED) and an additional 1,000 Krona (350AED) to Sweden’s fund for crime victims.
Thunberg had posted on Instagram during the protest saying: ‘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.’
As a teenager she inspired a global youth movement demanding stronger action against climate change after staging weekly protests outside the Swedish parliament in 2018.
Irma Kjellström, spokesperson for Take Back the Future added: ‘It’s even more clear than it would have been otherwise that we have to be exactly where the harm is being done, that we have to be out in the oil ports defending our lives, because, apparently, currently the states and other power actors are not ready to do what’s needed.’