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Anti-Tesla protesters swarm Giga Berlin-Brandenburg, injuries and arrests reported

Image Credit: @Gf4Tesla/Twitter

Tensions flared on Friday as environmental activists attempted to breach the grounds of Tesla Giga Berlin-Brandenburg in Grünheide, Germany. The protest, which is reportedly being conducted as a form of opposition against the planned expansion of the facility, resulted in a confrontation with police, as well as several injuries and arrests.

The anti-Tesla group made some headway in their attempts to break into Giga Berlin-Brandenburg’s premises, particularly when they overcame wildlife fences and police barriers. Police spokesperson Maik Kettlitz informed rbb24 that the protesters were repelled by the police. Authorities were also on-site in Giga Berlin with water cannons and a clearing tank. 

Injuries were reported on both sides, including one protestor and three police officers. Authorities have noted that several arrests have been made in connection with the anti-Tesla protests. Demonstrators have criticized the arrests as “repression.” They also claimed that there was “massive police violence.”

Anti-Tesla group Disrupt Alliance claimed that around 800 activists participated in the demonstration, and the protest size exceeded 1,000 people. Videos posted online showed large numbers of activists running towards Giga Berlin-Brandenburg, and photos posted by activists revealed that some Model Y crossovers had been vandalized by the demonstrators. 

Despite the demonstrators seemingly failing in their attempts to breach Giga Berlin-Brandenburg, the protests caused significant disruption to the area nonetheless. The nearby Freienbrink motorway exit and surrounding streets were closed, and rail service between Berlin and Frankfurt (Oder) was temporarily halted. Service reportedly resumed by mid-afternoon, however.

Anti-Tesla groups have been calling for days of action against the electric vehicle maker, though it is no secret that efforts against the company are nothing new. Activists have been camped out in a forest near the factory since February, occupying tree houses in protest of the deforestation that Giga Berlin-Brandenburg’s expansion is expected to cause. The activists also argued that the region would be “sold out to Tesla.” “Our livelihoods are not for sale,” the group noted. 

The protests weren’t limited to Grünheide. A separate demonstration targeting Tesla’s presence took place at the Mall of Berlin shopping center, where activists criticized the idea of electric cars being clean vehicles. Tesla, for its part, noted that the protests did not have a large impact on its operations, especially considering Giga Berlin-Brandenburg’s short-term vehicle production halt on Friday, which had been scheduled since January.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has posted a comment about the protests. As per Musk, Giga Berlin has not been breached by protesters, and he also noted that at this time, there are typically numerous protests in Germany. “Protesters did not manage to break through the fenceline. There are still 2 intact fence lines all around. Note, this is ‘National Protest Week’ in Germany, so there are a lot of protests for many different reasons,” Musk wrote.

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Anti-Tesla protesters swarm Giga Berlin-Brandenburg, injuries and arrests reported
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