Protesters attempt to storm a Tesla factory in Germany

Protesters attempt to storm a Tesla factory in Germany

Hundreds of climate protesters have clashed with police in Germany after trying to storm a Tesla factory near Berlin.

Several people were injured, including three police officers, during Friday’s demonstration against a proposed expansion of the electric car giant’s only European factory.

Police made several arrests and prevented activists from gaining access to the facility.

Campaigners have been camping in the woods in Grünheide, in the state of Brandenburg, since February, claiming Tesla’s plans to double the size of its factory will damage the environment.

Protesters on Friday blocked a nearby highway and disrupted train services by sitting on the tracks, police said.

There is also sitting on the country road near the factory.

Footage on social media showed hundreds of people, many wearing blue hats and holding blue flags, running towards the site trying to gain access.

A video, confirmed by the BBC, shows protesters breaking through a police cordon and entering the factory area, which is about 30km (18 miles) from the capital.

They can be seen heading towards an isolated building in the northeast corner of the Gigafactory area.

Police confirmed that protesters who tried to enter the facility were prevented from doing so, with several people being detained.

Tesla said earlier this week that the site would be closed for the day due to the demonstration, with employees reportedly allowed to work from home.

In a post on social media platform X, Tesla CEO Elon Musk also said the group was unsuccessful in breaking into the facility.

“Why are the police letting leftist protesters off so easily?” Musk wrote in another post.

The group Disrupt Tesla has called for mass protests against the expansion to be held between May 8 and 12.

Speaking to the Reuters news agency on Friday, Ole Becker, a spokesman for Disrupt Tesla, said the protesters aimed to draw attention to the “environmental destruction” in Grünheide.

Some activists have occupied part of the forest expected to be cleared for the expanded factory for months, building tree houses and putting up signs in opposition.

Known as the Gigafactory, the facility now employs about 12,000 people and makes about 500,000 cars a year.

Production was forced to halt briefly in March after a power outage was triggered by a suspected arson attack.

A far-left activist group known as the Volcano Group claimed responsibility.

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