German plod defend Tesla gigafactory from eco-warriors

Elon Musk wonders why so many sour Krauts

Attempts by climate protesters to storm Tesla's Berlin gigafactory were foiled by German police on Friday, with 16 arrests made.

The protest started on Monday as demonstrators gathered in a camp near the electric vehicle factory in response to plans to expand the plant into a nearby forest. That expansion would destroy 250 acres of woodland and replace it with a freight depot and warehouses.

The demonstrations against the factory upgrade continued throughout the week, and production was paused after Wednesday. This was partially due to a public holiday on Thursday and a "one day planned production shutdown" on Friday, according to André Thierig, senior director of manufacturing at the plant.

Tensions reached a boiling point on Friday as protesters attempted to break through police fences around the factory. While some reported the activists successfully made their way into the site, Thierig, the cops, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed officers and guards blocked the would-be eco-warrior incursion.

"People did not manage to get on site," said Thierig in a xeet. "Fence lines stayed intact! Thanks to Brandenburg Police and Tesla security." Musk also claimed "protesters did not manage to break through the fenceline. There are still 2 intact fence lines all around."

Besides trying to get into the gigafactory, the activists also lit fireworks and blocked roads. Police had water cannons on scene though these were not used.

The SpaceX tycoon also voiced suspicions over why protesters would focus on his Berlin factory rather than those operated by Volkswagen, which a decade ago was caught cheating on emissions tests. "Something fishy about this," Musk said. "They be *that* dumb!"

2024 has not been especially kind to the Berlin gigafactory otherwise. It was shut down for several days in March due to an arson attack committed by militant environmentalists. Friday's single-day shutdown was the first time the factory stopped production on a non-holiday weekday since then. ®

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