Teenage Climate Activist Greta Thunberg on Trial in Sweden

Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg is set to go on trial on Monday, charged with disobeying police at a rally last month in which activists blocked the port in the city of Malmo. She will appear before the court in the southern Swedish city at 0930 GMT. The 20-year-old activist “took part in a demonstration that disrupted traffic” and “refused to obey police orders to leave the site,” according to the charge sheet seen by AFP. If found guilty, she faces up to six months in prison. However, prosecutors and experts have said such charges usually end with fines.

During the protest on June 19, led by youth group Ta Tillbaka Framtiden (Reclaim the Future), Greta Thunberg and other activists stopped traffic in the port’s oil terminal for several days, local newspaper Sydsvenskan reported. In a tweet at the time, Thunberg said she was there as “one of many people preventing tankers from entering and leaving the port.”

Greta Thunberg rose to fame after she inspired her first school strike in 2018, which grew into the global movement Friday’s For Future. She is now one of the most prominent voices in the fight against climate change and regularly lambasts politicians, business leaders, and world leaders for failing to do enough to combat it.

She has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize multiple times and was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2019. However, the global warming crisis is worsening, with scientists warning of more extreme weather, rising sea levels, shrinking bodies of water, and carbon dioxide reaching its highest level ever recorded in human history.

The young activist is currently taking part in a climate tour around the country, where she has held rallies and talks. She is adamant that the current generation has to take action to save the planet. “The climate crisis is the biggest problem our generation has faced,” she told an audience of schoolchildren in central Stockholm on Saturday. “As a generation, we have to make big changes to our ways of living, our economy, and our production, or there will be nobody left alive that will have the chance to enjoy the beautiful nature we have here.”

Prosecutors in Malmo on Wednesday said they had charged a woman with disobeying law enforcement in connection with the protest last month. A short statement from the prosecutor’s office did not name the woman, but a spokeswoman confirmed it was Greta Thunberg.

She could face up to six months in prison if found guilty, but prosecutor Charlotte Ottosen told Sydsvenskan that such cases often end up with fines. Thunberg’s media team waited to answer a request for comment. The case will be heard in the district court of Malmo in southern Sweden. The hearing will be open to the public.

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