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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Greta Thunberg chants for Palestine at climate march

A Dutch man interrupted the famed activist’s speech and grabbed her microphone before being removed from the stage

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg welcomed pro-Palestine campaigners while giving a speech at Amsterdam’s largest-ever environmental march on Sunday, joining in an anti-occupation chant after a protester complained about the politicization of the event.

Thunberg was speaking in front of an audience of tens of thousands when she reportedly ceded her allotted speaking time at the Climate Crisis Coalition march to Afghan activist Sahar Shirzad and a Palestinian woman.

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“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. Otherwise, there can be no climate justice without international solidarity,” Thunberg said by way of explanation.

However, after the women spoke, another environmental protester mounted the stage and grabbed Thunberg’s microphone, declaring, “I have come here for a climate demonstration, not a political view.”

The man, who was wearing a jacket bearing the insignia of Dutch political party Water Natuurlijk, was quickly muscled off the stage. As Thunberg urged calm, members of the audience began chanting “No climate justice on occupied land,” and Thunberg quickly joined in.

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Shirzad later told the Associated Press that the Swedish climate icon “gave her time to us,” letting both women speak before resuming the microphone. The women had apparently been part of a small group who briefly chanted pro-Palestinian slogans and waved flags near the front of the crowd before Thunberg began speaking.

More than 70,000 people took part in Sunday’s demonstration, which was said to be the largest climate protest in Dutch history. The event was also intended to bring attention to racism, poverty, and the housing shortage facing the Netherlands, all of which are interlinked with climate change, according to the Climate Crisis Coalition, an organization comprised of Oxfam Novib, FNV, Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion, Fossil Free NL, Milieudefensie, DeGoedeZaak, TNI, and Thunberg’s group Fridays for Future.