A Swedish court on Monday fined climate activistfor disobeying police during an environmental protest at an oil facility last month. Thunberg, 20, admitted to the facts but denied guilt, saying the fight against the fossil fuel industry was a form of self-defense due to the existential and global threat of the climate crisis.
“We cannot save the world by playing by the rules,” she told journalists after hearing the verdict, vowing she would “definitely not” back down.
The sentencing appeared to have little effect on her determination — just a few hours later, Thunberg and activists from the Reclaim the Future movement returned to an oil terminal in the southern Swedish city of Malmö to stage to another roadblock. A photo then showed her being carried away by police officers.
Thunberg had told the court earlier, “We are in an emergency that threatens life, health and property,” BBC News reported. She also said “countless people” were at risk.
Charges were brought against Thunberg and several other Reclaim the Future youth activists for refusing a police order to disperse after blocking road access to the oil terminal on June 19.
“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,” she told the court.
Her argument was rejected and she was fined 2,500 kronor (about $240).
“If the court sees our actions of self-defense as a crime, that’s how it is,” said Irma Kjellström, a spokesperson for Reclaim the Future who was also present at the June protest. She also said activists “have to be exactly where the harm is being done.”
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