Demonstration against the expansion of the giant Tesla factory near Berlin – rts.ch

Demonstration against the expansion of the giant Tesla factory near Berlin – rts.ch
Demonstration against the expansion of the giant Tesla factory near Berlin – rts.ch

In Berlin, hundreds of demonstrators camped near the Tesla factory. They are protesting against a project to expand this industrial site: Elon Musk wants to double the production of electric cars there, a project that has ecologists and residents bristling.

Tesla’s giant factory near Berlin has sparked numerous controversies since the start. The project to extend the site opened in 2022 by the American electric car manufacturer has reignited criticism and mobilization. During this long Ascension weekend, various events are organized around the factory.

Several hundred people who are members of or close to environmental defense movements but also far-left groups are calling to demonstrate against the Tesla Gigafactory for two major reasons.

Threatened water tables and forests

A protester being evacuated by police on Friday, near the storage site for Tesla cars as they leave the factory. [KEYSTONE – PATRICK PLEUL]

They accuse the industrial site which today employs 12,000 people and produces 6,000 cars per week of endangering the water table due to the factory’s water needs, but also discharges which would be harmful.

Another criticism: the project to extend the factory from 300 to 500 hectares once again involves the disappearance of the surrounding forest. A majority of citizens of Grünheide, the municipality on which the site depends, rejected this project during a referendum at the end of February, but this vote is not binding on the municipality. The latter wants to give the green light to the extension in a few days. Tax revenues are substantial for Grünheide.

On Friday, demonstrators tried to enter the Tesla factory site but were repelled by the police, who were very present. As a reminder, last March, an electricity pylon was damaged, which led to the shutdown of production at Tesla for several days.

>> Read: In Berlin, a Tesla factory is shut down after an arson attack

Also in the city of Berlin, demonstrators protested on Friday in front of a shopping mall where Tesla has a showroom. More protests near the factory site are planned for Saturday. Hundreds of people from the region, but not only, are expected.

Pascal Thibaut/kkub

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