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Court fines Swedish climate activist for flouting police orders

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SWEDEN- A climate activist, Greta Thunberg, has been fined for defying police orders during a climate protest in March at Swedish parliament.

During the hearing of the case on Wednesday at the Stockholm District Court, Ms Thunberg was charged 6,000 Swedish crowns ($550) and an additional 1,000 crown (£73) in damages.

According to reports, the climate activist with the assistance of four other campaigners blocked the entrance to the Swedish parliament for their sit-in and protest against effective climate change on March 12 and 13.

The protesters denied politicians access into the parliament, causing disruptions at the entrance of the building, which the police noted and gave the activists an order to move which she and her campaigners refused to do.

Their disobedience for police order made the police use force to remove them from the building entrance.

Also, this is not Ms Thunberg’s first time of flouting police orders, as she was fined last July after refusing to leave a climate protest in Malmo in June. She, however, denied the charges of two counts of civil disobedience before the court.

Meanwhile, Ms Thunberg after the court rulings complained of the court’s decision, describing the system as “extremely deadly,” adding that the law which was supposed to protect citizens didn’t fulfil its duty.

The climate activist told the BBC that “In a country like Sweden where I can protest, where I can use my voice, I have the right to do that. I have a moral obligation to do that.”

Ms Thunberg disclosed that her reason for not complying with the law enforcement agents’ order was because the protest against effective climate change was an emergency and it’s still an emergency.

She thus noted that in an emergency, everyone had an obligation to act.

BBC further reported her as saying, “Once again, I think it’s painfully clear how absurd it is that it is peaceful climate protesters, like us youths, who are facing repression and are being faced with legal punishments in court for acting against this extremely deadly system, and for trying to change things.’’

The climate activist added, “We are currently heading in the wrong direction towards a very unstable and dangerous future. It shows how our laws which are supposed to protect us don’t do that.’’

Describing “big companies and people in power” as “the people who are the real criminals, ” she alleged that they were the ones putting people in real danger because of their disregard for the “rapidly escalating climate crisis.”

However, the Stockholm police explained that though the activists had the right to protest outside the parliament, they were ordered to move away from blocking the entrances.

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