(MALMÖ, Sweden) — A Swedish court on Monday fined climate activist Greta Thunberg for disobeying police during an environmental protest at an oil facility last month.
Thunberg, 20, admitted to the facts but denied guilt, saying the fight against the fossil fuel industry was a form of self-defense due to the existential and global threat of the climate crisis.
“We cannot save the world by playing by the rules,” she told journalists after hearing the verdict, vowing she would “definitely not” back down.
The court rejected her argument and fined her 2,500 kronor (about $240).
Charges were brought against Thunberg and several other youth activists from the Reclaim the Future movement for refusing a police order to disperse after blocking road access to an oil terminal in the southern Swedish city of Malmö on June 19.
“If the court sees our actions of self-defense as a crime, that’s how it is,” said Irma Kjellström, a spokesperson for Reclaim the Future who was also present at the June protest. She added that activists “have to be exactly where the harm is being done.”
The sentencing appeared to have little effect on the youths’ determination — just a few hours later, Thunberg and Reclaim the Future activists returned to the oil terminal to stage to another roadblock.