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Environmental Activists Protest Tesla’s Factory Expansion in Grünheide

Grünheide, March 10, 2024, The Europe Today: Environmental activists gathered in Grünheide, on the outskirts of Berlin, on Sunday to protest against the proposed expansion of Tesla’s Gigafactory. The demonstration follows a suspected arson attack last week that disrupted production at the electric carmaker’s facility.

Tesla’s expansion plans include the construction of a freight station, warehouses, and a company kindergarten. However, the proposal has faced resistance from environmental activists and local residents concerned about potential contamination of drinking water, particularly as part of the expansion area is located in a water protection zone.

The protest drew hundreds of demonstrators expressing their concerns about the environmental impact of the expansion. Signs and chants highlighted the need to safeguard water resources and preserve the ecological balance in the region.

In contrast, a smaller counter-demonstration took place simultaneously, featuring local residents who support Tesla’s expansion, viewing it as crucial for the area’s future development and economic growth.

The controversy surrounding Tesla’s Gigafactory escalated last week when an alleged sabotage incident led to a halt in production. The Volcano Group, claiming responsibility for the sabotage, asserted that their actions were aimed at drawing attention to the environmental concerns associated with the factory’s expansion.

Tesla’s works council head addressed workers at the site on Friday, reassuring them that the factory would restart operations the following week. An investigation into the suspected arson attack is ongoing.

The clash between environmentalists and those supporting economic development highlights the delicate balance between sustainable growth and environmental conservation in the context of expanding industrial projects.