Should last "longer"

Berlin: Activists occupy forest at Tesla protest

01.03.2024 18:39

Environmental activists have occupied a forest near the Tesla factory in Berlin. They want to prevent the planned expansion of the Tesla site. Up to 100 activists are said to be in the tree houses several meters above the ground and tents in the camp and have come to stay: "The longer the occupation lasts, the better," said the spokeswoman for the initiative.

The initiative called on other supporters to visit the camp and bring materials such as timber, saws, climbing equipment and hammocks. "We hope that more people will come along." The political dispute over Tesla's expansion plans is also likely to continue.

Wastewater values exceeded: production stop looming
Elon Musk's US company has also been criticized for exceeding certain wastewater values in Grünheide according to official measurements. The Strausberg-Erkner water board responsible therefore held a special meeting on Friday. The result: Tesla does not currently have to expect its wastewater disposal to be stopped. However, the association meeting did not come to an agreement. Instead, a draft resolution to stop the disposal was postponed, according to the chairman of the association meeting, Henryk Pilz. It initially remained unclear why it was postponed. The mayor of the small town of Erkner subsequently resigned as chairman of the committee.

Tesla fears "millions in damage every day"
The US electric car manufacturer Tesla had previously warned the water board against stopping the disposal. "You are aware that stopping the discharge of wastewater from the Gigafactory would lead to a production stop at the Gigafactory. Such a decision would cause millions of euros of damage every day," the company said in a letter. The head of the left-wing parliamentary group in the state parliament, Sebastian Walter, criticized X: "Everything that stands in the way of #tesla's profits is being cleared away here." Tesla must finally abide by the rules.

Masked activists probably also active at similar protests
According to the initiative, around 80 to 100 environmental activists gathered at the camp next to the electric car factory. They erected tree houses several meters high, stretched ropes between the pine trees and pitched tents. The protest initiative wants to prevent the forest from being cleared for a Tesla expansion. Many of the environmental activists, some of whom did not show their faces, were also involved in protest actions in Hambach Forest or in the lignite village of Lützerath.

100 hectares of forest to be cleared for expansion
The electric car manufacturer is planning to build a goods station, warehouses and a company kindergarten next to the existing 300-hectare factory site. More than 100 hectares of forest are to make way for this. Tesla's expansion plans were also rejected by a majority in a referendum in Grünheide a few days ago. The municipal council is now expected to decide on the development plan in May following the negative vote by the citizens.

The police see no reason to break up the tent camp in the forest, but are keeping an eye on what is happening there. "They will continue to keep an eye on it," said a spokesperson. The protest in the pine forest can continue until March 15, as the police had decided. However, as the assembly had not been registered, criminal proceedings had been initiated for a violation of the Assembly Act, a spokesperson said on Friday.

"Leave and don't push out of the forest"
The initiative said: "We are open to discussion, but will not be pushed out of the forest." This Saturday afternoon, a walk through the forest is planned in Grünheide to protest against Tesla, as well as a piano concert in the forest. When asked, Tesla has not yet commented on the protest camp next to the factory - nor has the municipality of Grünheide.
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