Greta Thunberg has journalists thrown out of meeting
For a week, the youthful environmental activists of the "Fridays for Future" movement met in Lausanne, Switzerland. It also came to some violent quarrels about the strategic direction of the group.
Published: August 10, 2019, 11:59 am
Greta Thunberg blamed the media for the bad atmosphere at the congress and caused a scandal when she let some journalists present be thrown out of the meeting.
Already on Wednesday, the atmosphere at the climate summit “Smile for Future” in Lausanne was tense. During the meeting, discussions about the future direction of the movement resulted in howling and violent quarrels among the activists.
In a debate on Friday, it was finally announced that the initiator Greta Thunberg would speak. She blamed the press for the tense atmosphere among the approximately 400 activists and had journalists present thrown out of the room, as blick.ch reported.
These banned journalists would otherwise have “reported it as if we had had a quarrel” she said.
In the past week, more and more frustration was expressed among the participants at the Climate Summit. “There was little structure and it was difficult to agree on anything at all,” one youth summarized the situation retrospectively.
Thunberg criticized the level of attention that the media had focused on photos of crying and angry teenagers. The majority of the congress participants had thus given their approval to exclude the media from the debate.
The journalists then had to leave the hall. They said themselves that the move had stunned them. “How should we report on the summit, if we are not allowed to be there?”, asked Wolfgang Wanner of the German television public channel ARD.
A few minutes later, however, the journalists were allowed to return to the hall. “We are only human and sometimes need privacy, but as a movement we try to be as transparent as possible,” said co-organizer Kelmy Martinez after the scandal in a statement.
Many participants considered a city in Switzerland to be unsuitable because the country was not an EU member and had too high consumer prices. “For participants from Eastern Europe, it is even expensive to buy something in the supermarket,” said an Austrian participant.
According to a report, many adolescents responded with defiant sit-ins in front of the entrance to the conference room.
After Lausanne, environmental icon Greta Thunberg will be heading to the USA. With a deep-sea yacht, the 16-year-old wants to cross the Atlantic to attend the UN climate summit in New York. The use of an aircraft was rejected by the activist for environmental reasons.
She has refused to meet with US President Donald Trump. “If he is not ready to listen to science and experts, how can I convince him,” she told the Swiss broadcaster RTS. “So I would not waste my time with a meeting with Donald Trump.”
The number of enemies of the young Swede is indeed far from drying up, quite the opposite.
Adored by some, Greta Thunberg is also hated – by some anonymous people, but also by politicians, philosophers and Internet users of all types. Many do not like the attitude of the teenager, which they say is “manipulated”, “catastrophist”, “funded by the lobbies” or “arrogant”.
Thunberg has dismissed claims that she is being manipulated, speaking in an interview with Swiss public television RTS in Lausanne, western Switzerland.
The “Smile for Future” summit in the city of Lausanne started on Monday, bringing together youth activists from across Europe for workshops and discussions around the topic of climate change.
More than 450 young people from 38 countries – including Thunberg, who arrived by train Sunday evening – attended the week-long summit in the University of Lausanne, which ended in a strike on Friday afternoon.
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