Greta Thunberg fined for ignoring Swedish police at environment fight

Activist had pleaded not guilty on grounds she acted out of necessity at demonstration that blocked oil trucks in Malmö

Greta Thunberg has been fined by a Swedish court after she was found guilty of disobeying a police order to leave a climate protest.

The 20-year-old climate activist, who from 2018 became the face of the youth climate movement, had admitted taking part in the protest in Malmö in June, but pleaded not guilty on the grounds she had acted out of necessity.

“My actions are justifiable,” Thunberg told the court in Malmö, according to local media. “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.”

Five years ago, Thunberg, then 15, began skipping school each Friday and staging solo climate protests outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm, holding up a sign reading: “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (school strike for climate).

Her weekly demonstrations snowballed into a global wave of youth climate protest, as she gained fame for her youth and her blunt speaking on the dire future faced by young people staring down the barrel of the climate crisis.

Although the school strikes movement lost some of its momentum with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Thunberg has continued to travel the world joining climate protests and speaking at international summits, urging world leaders to act on the climate crisis.

It is believed that Monday’s trial is her first conviction for climate protest.

Thunberg was part of a group of protesters that blocked the road for oil trucks in Malmö harbour. She was charged for failing to leave when ordered to do so by police.

The fine will be based on Thunberg’s reported income and it was not immediately clear how much she would have to pay, Reuters reported.

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