During a five-day protest against Tesla’s local growth ambitions, German climate activists battled with police on Friday as they tried to break into the company’s industrial site close to Berlin.

Social media footage depicted throngs of demonstrators in black running toward the Tesla campus. German media reported an unidentified number of arrests together with injuries to protestors and police.

“For breaking in, why are they not in jail?” On X, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla. Denying that the demonstrators had entered Tesla premises, he said. “The fenceline was not breached by protestors. There are still two complete fence lines all around.

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Claiming they had only reached a field in front of the site, police further denied that protestors had ever made it to the gigafactory. According to X, local police reported on Friday AM local time, “Several people are trying to gain unauthorized access to the Tesla factory premises.” They added, “We have been able to prevent them from entering so far,” several hours later.

Speaking on behalf of the group Disrupt Tesla, Lucia Mende said that eight hundred people took part in the demonstration. She refuted both the police’s and Musk’s assertion that the protestors never made it onto Tesla premises. A derelict airstrip, which Tesla is allegedly utilizing to store thousands of unsold cars, is where activists are now headed, she said. Mende described the demonstrators as wanting to stop the facility from expanding.

“[We] have witnessed how the protesters broke through police lines to get onto the factory grounds,” Mara, a Stop Tesla spokesman and another anti-Tesla protestor, added. “To upend Tesla, we all unite.” More extreme elements of the climate movement around Europe frequently employ the strategy of breaking into or occupying industrial sites.

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Climate campaigners have been protesting Tesla’s German facility, which makes electric cars and batteries, for months, claiming the company’s green credentials are a farce.

“Companies like Tesla are there to save the car industry, they are not there to save the climate,” Turn Off the Tap on Tesla (known by its German initialism TDHA) spokesman Esther Kamm said.

February saw the facility turning out 6,000 vehicles per week. However, Friday manufacturing was stopped in advance of the demonstration. André Thierig, the plant manager, had earlier in the week announced that there would be a “one day planned shutdown.”

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The only gigafactory in Europe, Tesla has stated that it intends to grow the facility into the adjacent forest in order to produce one million cars annually.

An alliance of residents and environmentalists has resisted such expansion proposals. In a February nonbinding poll, almost 60% of locals opposed the expansion proposals. Protesters have been residing in a woodland camp just few steps from the factory’s perimeter fence ever since.

Local rail station Fangschleuse was closed earlier on Friday, according to police, and people were sitting on the tracks. Reopened since then. Saturday is supposed to see more protests.