Greta Thunberg fined for disobeying police at climate protest

Greta Thunberg has been found guilty by a Swedish court of disobeying police orders during an environmental protest in March.

Speaking after the hearing on Wednesday, the climate activist described the ruling as “absurd”.

Ms Thunberg had blocked an entrance to parliament on two occasions during a sit-in.

She denied the charges of two counts of civil disobedience, according to an AFP journalist at the hearing.

The 21-year-old has been fined 6,000 Swedish crown (£440), according to Stockholm District Court. She was also ordered to pay an additional 1,000 crown (£73) in damages.

Speaking to the BBC shortly after, Ms Thunberg said “Once again, I think it’s painfully clear how absurd it is that it is peaceful climate protestors, like us youth, who are facing repression and are being faced with legal punishments in court for acting against this extremely deadly system, and for trying to change things.”

“We are currently heading in the wrong direction towards a very unstable and dangerous future,” she said, adding it “shows how our laws which are supposed to protect us don’t do that”.

She described “big companies and people in power” as “the people who are the real criminals” and “the people who are putting people in real danger” by their disregard for the “rapidly escalating climate crisis”.

Ms Thunberg has previously been fined twice for civil disobedience during protests in Sweden.

The latest two charges come after she and a small group of activists had blocked the main entrance to Swedish parliament in protest of what they described as political inaction from the government on the climate crisis.

The sit-in had caused disruption to politicians trying to access the building. They were however, able use secondary entrances.

After refusing to comply with police orders to move, Ms Thunberg and a number of other activists were forcibly removed by police on two days in a row in mid March.

Ms Thunberg told the BBC: “In a country like Sweden where I can protest, where I can use my voice, I have the right to do that, I have a moral obligation to do that”.

When asked in court why she did not comply with law enforcement, the activist responded: “Because it was an emergency and it’s still an emergency. And in an emergency, we all have an obligation to act.”

Last July, Ms Thunberg was fined after being found guilty of disobeying a police order to leave a climate protest in Malmo in June, where she joined a group of protestors in blocking a road for oil truckers in the harbour.

Ms Thunberg had denied the charge and told the court at the time: “I believe that we are in an emergency that threatens life, health and property,” adding that “countless people” were at risk.

Hours after the July fine, she took part in a protest at the same port, over which she was also fined, several months later.

Speaking to the BBC, she revealed that she now planned to go to Malmo to protest against Israel’s right to compete in the European song contest.

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