Last Updated: November 13, 2023, 12:42 IST
Greta Thunberg’s climate speech in the city of Amsterdam faced disruption as a man seized the microphone from the popular Swedish activist and expressed dissatisfaction with the event’s perceived political nature. Thunberg, addressing tens of thousands, had invited a Palestinian and an Afghan woman to join her on stage, stressing the climate justice movement’s commitment to voices of the marginal.
The unidentified man, interrupting Thunberg during the address, declared his attendance for a climate demonstration, not political views. Within a few seconds, Thunberg reasserted control after the man was escorted off the stage. Before that, he spoke into the mike that he came “here for climate demonstration and not the political view.”
| Amsterdã: Incidente no protesto de Greta Thunberg; um homem confronta a mistura de ativismo ambiental com críticas políticas a Israel. “Vim aqui pelo protesto climático e não pela sua política.” pic.twitter.com/Bl4HGFQkVt— Brasil em Fúria (@brasiemfuria) November 13, 2023
The viral incident unfolded during a climate protest on Thursday, reportedly the largest in the Netherlands, drawing an estimated 70,000 participants. Demonstrators marched through the city center with signs reading ‘Our house is on fire,’ ‘In 2050: Daddy, what are trees?’ and ‘Climate Justice Now.’
“We are not standing on the brink of a catastrophe, we are living in it,” Thunberg told the crowd. “People on the front lines of the climate crisis have been experiencing the first-hand consequences of it for decades now and they have been sounding the alarm, but we have not been listening,” she added.
Thunberg, a key figure in climate activism, was part of the march and later danced behind the stage as a band played. The disruption followed a brief pause in the event when activists waving Palestinian flags briefly interrupted proceedings.
Tackling climate change stands as a focal point in the November 22 general election in the country, with protesters hoping their collective voice influences governmental decisions. Polls show the Netherlands election is currently a dead heat between the centre-right VVD of outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte and a new party, the NSC, led by anti-corruption champion Pieter Omtzigt.
(With agency inputs)