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Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Fined For Blocking Entrance To Swedish Parliament

Greta Thunberg, climate
Greta Thunberg speaks to reporters in the Stockholm district court, which is holding the main hearing in the case where the climate activist is charged with two cases of disobedience to the authorities after protest actions at the Riksdag, in Stockholm. Fredrik Sandberg/TT News Agency/via REUTERS

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has inspired the “Fridays for Future” movement has been ordered to pay 6,000 Swedish crowns ($550) by a Stockholm court.

Thunberg had blocked the entrance to the front of the Swedish Parliament in March 2018 where she had called for action to combat climate change. According to a Reuters report, Thunberg and four other campaigners stood trial after police had to forcibly move them on March 12 and 13 during sit-down protests against the effects of climate change and what they said was political inaction.

Thunberg was charged with two counts of civil disobedience. In a DW report she said that she denied the charges and  such action was needed because “there was a (climate) emergency and there still is. And in an emergency, we all have a duty to act.”

“The current laws protect the extractive industries instead of protecting people and the planet, which is what I believe should be the case,” the 21-year-old activist said when leaving the courtroom. She was 15 at the time when she had conducted the protest.

Thunberg has been a role model for many students around the world who have followed her example for civil disobedience regarding climate change. Her sentencing comes as experts warn that this year will see an increase in temperatures in 1.5 degrees for the first time.

“This far exceeds anything that is acceptable,” Prof Sir Bob Watson, a former chair of the UN’s climate body, told the BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme. He and other climate activists say that action can still be taken to prevent climate change if carbon emissions are curbed.

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“Look what’s happened this year with only 1.5C – we’ve seen floods, we’ve seen droughts, we’ve seen heatwaves and wildfires all over the world.”

Thunberg, who has spoken at the UN for climate change in 2019, has also become a target for politicians, the most notable being former US president Donald Trump. In December 2019, Trump mocked her on X (then Twitter) asked her to work on her “anger management problem” and told her to “Chill Greta, chill!”

Thunberg waited till Trump had lost the election before responding in 2020.

“Donald must work on his Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Donald, Chill!”

(With inputs from Reuters & other agencies)