Man grabs Greta Thunberg’s microphone after pro-Palestinian address at climate rally

World

Greta Thunberg was interrupted as she addressed a climate protest in Amsterdam on Sunday after inviting a Palestinian and an Afghan woman on stage.

The Swedish activist was speaking to a crowd of tens of thousands in the Dutch capital before the country heads to the polls in a general election next week.

“As a climate justice movement, we have to listen to the voices of those who are being oppressed and those who are fighting for freedom and for justice,” she said.

“Otherwise, there can be no climate justice without international solidarity.”

After the Palestinian and Afghan women had come on stage and spoken, Ms Thunberg resumed her speech.

But a man went on to the stage and told her: “I have come here for a climate demonstration, not a political view,” before he was ushered off.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed tens of thousands of people who gathered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, to call for more action to tackle climate change. Thunberg was among the speakers at the march that comes 10 days before national elections in the Netherlands. Pic: AP
Image:
Greta appeared to be wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh scarf, a symbol of solidarity. Pic: AP

The man’s identity was not clear. He was wearing a jacket with the name of a group called Water Natuurlijk that has elected members in Dutch water boards.

Ms Thunberg appeared to be wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh, a traditional black and white scarf.

Earlier proceedings had been interrupted as a small group of activists at the front of the crowd waved Palestinian flags and chanted pro-Palestinian slogans.

The interruption did not seem to phase Ms Thunberg, 20, as she was later seen dancing behind the stage as a band played.

The speeches on stage were the culmination of a mass protest that saw tens of thousands of people march through the streets of Amsterdam, urging for more action to tackle climate change.

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Climate change is one of the key policy areas the political parties are fighting over in their election campaigns.

Organisers claimed that 70,000 people took part in the march and called it the biggest climate protest in the Netherlands.

Ms Thunberg was among those walking through the historic heart of the Dutch capital.

Political leaders including former European Union climate chief Frans Timmermans, who now leads a centre-left, two-party bloc in the election campaign, later addressed the crowd in a square behind the landmark Rijksmuseum.

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Event organiser, the Climate Crisis Coalition, said in a statement: “We live in a time of crises, all of which are the result of the political choices that have been made. It has to be done and it can be done differently.”

While the coalition included the Fridays for Future youth movement, protesters were all ages and included a large contingent of medics in white coats carrying a banner emblazoned with the text: “Climate crisis = health crisis.”

“I am a paediatrician. I’m here standing up for the rights of children,” said one of the protesters, Laura Sonneveld. “Children are the first to be affected by climate change.”

“It is time for us to protest about government decisions,” said Margje Weijs, a Spanish teacher and youth coach. “I hope this influences the election.”

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