Greta Thunberg’s speech to thousands in Amsterdam was hijacked by a man who told her: ‘I came for a climate protest, not a political point of view’ after she invited a Palestinian and an Afghan woman to the stage

  • The man took to the stage and grabbed the microphone after Ms Thunberg said: “The people in power didn’t listen.”



Climate activist Greta Thunberg was briefly interrupted today by a man who approached her on stage, after she invited a Palestinian and an Afghan woman to speak at a climate protest in Amsterdam.

Ms. Thunberg was speaking to a crowd of tens of thousands when she invited the women to the stage.

“As a climate justice movement, we must listen to the voices of those who are oppressed and those who fight for freedom and justice. Otherwise, there will be no climate justice without international solidarity,” she added.

After the Palestinian and Afghan women spoke, and Ms. Thunberg resumed her speech, noting that “the people in power were not listening,” a man came on stage and interrupted her, grabbing the microphone.

“I came here for a climate demonstration, not for a political point of view,” he said, before being escorted out to booing from the crowd.

Greta Thunberg speaks at the March for Climate and Justice to demand political change ahead of elections in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on November 12, 2023
After the Palestinian and Afghan women spoke, and Ms. Thunberg resumed her speech, noting that “the people in power were not listening,” a man came onto the stage and interrupted her, grabbing the microphone.
“I came here for a climate demonstration, not for a political point of view,” he said, before being escorted out to booing by members of the crowd.

Ms. Thunberg then grabbed the microphone and repeated: “Calm down.”

After a short pause, she began chanting: “There is no climate justice in the occupied territories.”

The man’s identity was not clear. He was wearing a jacket bearing the name of a group called Water Natuurlijk that elected members to Dutch water boards.

Before Ms. Thunberg took to the stage, the event came to a brief halt when a small group of activists at the front of the crowd waved Palestinian flags and chanted pro-Palestinian slogans.

She appeared undeterred and was later seen dancing behind the stage as a band played.

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The incident came after tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Amsterdam to demand more action to tackle climate change, in a massive protest just 10 days before the national election.

Greta Thunberg speaks to tens of thousands of people gathered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on November 12, 2023.
Ms Thunberg snatched the microphone from the man after the confrontation
He was removed from the theater as the audience expressed their disapproval
An aerial view of the “March for Climate and Justice” led by climate activist Greta Thunberg in Amsterdam, Netherlands on November 12, 2023
Tens of thousands of participants march for climate and justice from Dam Square to Museum Square, led by climate activist Greta Thunberg during the “March for Climate and Justice” in Amsterdam, Netherlands on November 12, 2023.
Greta Thunberg participates during a march for climate and justice in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on November 12, 2023.
Tens of thousands of participants march for climate and justice from Dam Square to Museum Square, led by climate activist Greta Thunberg during the “March for Climate and Justice” in Amsterdam, Netherlands on November 12, 2023.
Tens of thousands of participants march for climate and justice from Dam Square to Museum Square, led by climate activist Greta Thunberg during the “March for Climate and Justice” in Amsterdam, Netherlands on November 12, 2023.

Organizers claimed that 70,000 people participated in the march, describing it as the largest climate protest in the Netherlands.

Carrying banners reading: “Our house is burning,” “In 2050: “Daddy, what are trees?”,” and “Climate justice now,” the demonstrators gathered in Amsterdam’s central square and took to the streets.

Ms. Thunberg was among those who walked through the historic heart of the Dutch capital.

Later, political leaders, including Frans Timmermans, the former EU climate chief, who is now leading a two-party centre-left bloc in the election campaign, addressed the crowd in a square behind the Rijksmuseum.

“We are living in a time of crises, all the result of political choices that have been made. This must be done and can be done differently,” the organizing Climate Crisis Alliance said in a statement.

While the coalition included the Fridays for Future youth movement, the demonstrators were of all ages, and included a large group of medics wearing white coats and carrying a sign reading “Climate crisis = health crisis.”

I am a pediatrician. “I’m here to stand up for children’s rights,” said Laura Sonnefeld. “Children are the first to be affected by climate change.”

Tackling climate change is one of the key policy areas for the political parties competing in the general election scheduled for November 22.

“It is time for us to protest the government’s decisions,” said Margie Weiss, a Spanish teacher and youth coach. “I hope this affects the election.”

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