Jan 19, 2023 07:24 03
Updated 4 hours ago
Credit, Getty Images
False claims about the arrest of Greta Thunberg by German police are circulating on social media
German police have denied being “helpers of Greta Thunberg” after falsely claiming the Swedish activist’s arrest during a protest in western Germany was staged.
A post that went viral on social media states incorrectly that Thunberg’s arrest “set everything up for the cameras.”
Together with other activists, she tried to prevent the abandoned village of Lützerath from being demolished for the expansion of a colliery.
The video of Thunberg being removed from the scene by police has garnered millions of views in recent days.
“We would never expose ourselves to such footage,” a local police spokesman told the BBC, which dismissed claims circulating online about Thunberg’s detention.
The viral video shows the climate activist surrounded by the police.
As events unfold, a couple of photographers snap photos and move around in melee, and Thunberg smiles.
Several police officers who were also nearby appear to be waiting to drag her away from the scene.
This scene was enough for some social network profiles to claim, without evidence, that the police were part of a staging and served to guarantee the photos of Thunberg’s detention.
However, the North RhineWestphalian Interior Ministry told the BBC that police officers and Thunberg were waiting at the scene for logistical reasons.
“They had to wait a few minutes before they could take her to a designated police car,” the spokesman said.
The representative added that “the whole situation was distorted by political motives and the real reason [para a espera dos policiais] it’s utterly practical and mundane”.
The viral post with the video of Greta Thunberg and the police at the protest
Journalist Christian Wernicke from the German news agency Süddeutsche Zeitung was there when he was arrested. She said that at the time the video was taken, officers were “contemplating how to proceed with ID checking and waiting to take Greta to a vehicle.”
“My impression was that there was a mixup. Greta wasn’t the first protester to be pulled out of a protest rally,” Wernicke added.
“I saw mixed reactions to the video. Some say the footage appears to show police setting out to shame them, while others say it’s all part of a propaganda piece.”
“People interpret and use the footage to justify their own motivations.”
Many social media profiles also claimed Thunberg’s arrest was “fake”. The police made it clear that she was not arrested but briefly detained.
The group of activists was arrested after they “walked towards the edge,” the police said on Tuesday (January 17) at Garzweiler 2 colliery.
Security officials also confirmed that none of those involved will be formally charged.
Thunberg has frequently been the target of conspiracy theories and false claims online, often from those who deny the existence of humancaused climate change.
She wrote on Twitter: “Yesterday I was part of a group peacefully protesting against the expansion of a coal mine in Germany. We were interrogated by the police and arrested, but released later that night.”
“Climate protection is not a crime,” he protested.