Protesters Break Fence, Swarm Tesla Gigafactory

Car Swarm

A truly strange scene played out in the dusty grounds of a German Tesla Gigafactory on Friday when a swarm of masked protesters broke down a fence and tried to breach a factory building, Wired reports.

The mob, many wearing black and seemingly trying to do a mass Naruto run, were at the factory grounds near Berlin to protest the company's unpopular expansion plans, which includes mowing down 250 acres of forest, according to CNBC.

Police told CNBC that protesters have been camping near the factory since Monday, culminating in the fence breach and blocking roads. Police arrested multiple demonstrators, some of whom sustained injuries during the breach and clash with law enforcement.

Tesla told staff to stay home on Friday, calling the temporary factory closure a "one-day planned production shutdown."

Factory Goods

The protests sprang up after locals expressed displeasure at Tesla expansion plans at 60 percent in a February poll, according to Wired. Since then, a coalition of residents and hardline activists have been protesting against the carmaker.

There's an interesting tension here, of course: Tesla is both a huge corporation, with all the environmental harm that entails, but also one of the planet's most commercially successful ventures to wean civilization off fossil fuels.

"Companies like Tesla are there to save the car industry, they’re not there to save the climate," anti-Tesla group Turn Off the Tap spokesperson Esther Kamm told Wired.

Back in March, eco-terrorists even tried to burn down the factory, claiming in a letter that "Tesla consumes earth, resources, people, workers and in return spits out 6,000 SUVs, killer cars and monster trucks each week."

Tesla CEO Elon Musk weighed in on the social media platform X-formerly-Twitter back in March.

"These are either the dumbest eco-terrorists on Earth or they’re puppets of those who don’t have good environmental goals," he wrote. "Stopping production of electric vehicles, rather than fossil fuel vehicles, ist extrem dumm."

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