AMSTERDAM (AP) — Climate activist Greta Thunberg was briefly interrupted Sunday by a man who approached her on stage after she invited a Palestinian and an Afghan woman to speak at a climate protest in the Dutch capital.
Thunberg was speaking to a crowd of tens of thousands when she invited the women onto the stage.
“As a climate justice movement, we have to listen to the voices of those who are being oppressed and those who are fighting for freedom and for justice. Otherwise, there can be no climate justice without international solidarity,” Thunberg said.
After the Palestinian and Afghan women spoke and Thunberg resumed her speech, a man came onto the stage and told her: “I have come here for a climate demonstration, not a political view,” before he was ushered off the stage.
The man’s identity was not immediately clear. He was wearing a jacket with the name of a group called Water Natuurlijk that has elected members in Dutch water boards.
The Afghan woman, Sahar Shirzad, told The Associated Press that Thunberg allowed them to take the stage with her.
“Basically, she gave her time to us,” she said.
Before Thunberg took the stage, the event was briefly interrupted as a small group of activists at the front of the crowd waved Palestinian flags and chanted pro-Palestinian slogans.
She appeared undeterred and was later seen dancing behind the stage as band played.
The incident came after tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Amsterdam calling for more action to tackle climate change, in a mass protest just 10 days before a national election.
Organizers claimed that 70,000 people took part in the march and called it the biggest climate protest ever in the Netherlands.
Thunberg was among those walking through the historic heart of the Dutch capital.
Political leaders including former European Union climate chief Frans Timmermans, who now leads a center-left, two-party bloc in the election campaign, later addressed the crowd gathered on a square behind the landmark Rijksmuseum.
“We live in a time of crises, all of which are the result of the political choices that have been made. It has to be done and it can be done differently,” organizer the Climate Crisis Coalition said in a statement.
While the coalition included the Fridays for Future youth movement, protesters were all ages and included a large contingent of medics in white coats carrying a banner emblazoned with the text: “Climate crisis = health crisis.”
“I am a pediatrician. I’m here standing up for the rights of children,” said Laura Sonneveld. “Children are the first to be affected by climate change.”
Tackling climate change is one of the key policy areas for political parties contesting the Nov. 22 general election.
“It is time for us to protest about government decisions,” said Margje Weijs, a Spanish teacher and youth coach. “I hope this influences the election.”
Follow AP’s climate coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment