Greta Thunberg’s arrest in Germany

Students give their overviews on the Thunberg arrest scandal.


Karma Eltelety, staffer

January 17th Greta Thunberg was detained in Germany while protesting the expansion of a coal mine. Thunberg, being the figure she is, this news spread like wildfire through the internet. Pictures were taken of the young activist being carried away from the protest sight and were posted. These photos sparked speculation from people. Amidst the photos there was a video of Thunberg seemingly handcuffed while smiling and posing for a picture with the German police. This lead to many believing Thunberg had staged her arrest to bring awareness to the protest she was at. Sofia Chianella (’23) gives her opinion on the situation.

“If it were to be staged it isn’t necessarily making the situation worse because at the end of the day people need to be aware of the things that are going on and things that globally impact our environment.– She’s trying to get more people paying attention to it, I think it’s the motive behind whether or not it was actually to get people to look at climate change or not. Publicity stunts are okay when there’s a method behind it and you’re trying to get something for a better cause.” Chianella said.

When anything is posted online harsh words, opinions, and criticism are received welcome or not. A big part of the backlash Thunberg received from this situation was on her appearance. Twitter users responded to the pictures from the protest with insults on her weight saying things such as ‘Glad to see Greta’s eating good,’ and ‘She’s looking a bit chunky these days.’ Brooke Ealy (‘23) shares what she thinks about Thunberg’s appearance being criticized even though it had nothing to do with the present issue.

“The fact that they’re also bringing in her weight as an account kind of shows how our generation is just so focused on stuff like that with weight and body image and how its honestly affecting everything like even this kind of thing. — I think being in the public light like that especially as an activist, this happens with political figures too, they always comment on their appearance and their body rather than their values.” Ealy said.

This for some, could raise the question should idols in society be as idolized as they are. When it comes to looking up to public figures there is a lot that remains unknown to their fans and supporters about the figures true identity. Emma Betzing (’24) talks on whether this situation changed her opinion of Thunberg.

“Because she has such a high power and large audience she shouldn’t be staging things but I could see where she would be coming from if she wanted to bring more to the movement. — Everything’s fake and we don’t want more fake news. — I like the movement that she’s standing for, maybe not in all the best ways with having possibly staged something but either way the movement is a good movement.” Betzing said.

The main opinion coming from students seems to be that since Thunberg was protesting and attempting to bring attention to an important cause, whether or not she was actually detained is of little importance. Multiple news outlets covered this story and brought attention to Thunberg’s name as well as the coal mine expansion she was protesting which was likely the result the activist was looking for.