Protests Continue Against Tesla’s German Factory Expansion

Tesla Inc. is facing ongoing protests at its factory in Gruenheide, Germany, as activists attempt to halt the electric-car maker’s expansion plans, which would require clearing part of the surrounding forest. The demonstrations are expected to continue through the weekend following a series of actions on Friday that led to at least 16 arrests.

According to the police for the state of Brandenburg, protesters engaged in a variety of disruptive activities aimed at hindering Tesla’s operations. Demonstrators broke into an airfield near the factory, causing damage to new Tesla vehicles that were awaiting delivery. Additionally, protesters blocked a state road in close proximity to the plant, causing significant disruptions to traffic flow.

During the course of the protests, several people were injured, including 21 police officers who were on the scene attempting to maintain order and protect Tesla’s property.

The factory, located just outside of Berlin, has long been a source of contention and has faced persistent pushback from disgruntled locals and environmental groups since its inception. The plant’s opening was delayed for several months due to legal challenges brought forth by groups expressing concerns about the site’s water usage and the potential threats it posed to local wildlife.

In an effort to voice their opposition to the proposed expansion, activists have been camping in a forest near the plant since February. The situation escalated in March when Tesla was forced to halt production at the factory and send workers home after an arson attack at a nearby electricity tower caused widespread power failures throughout the region.