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Thunberg apologises for 'we'll put leaders against the wall' comment

Greta Thunberg apologises for telling supporters ‘we will make sure we put world leaders against the wall’ as she reveals she will be taking a Christmas break from eco activism

  • The activist accused world leaders of ‘running away from their responsibilities’
  • Critics slammed her for advocating violence before a furious mob in Turin Friday
  • Yesterday the 16-year-old Time ‘Person of the Year’ apologised for her words
  • Ms Thunberg claimed that a Swedish phrase had been lost in translation 

Greta Thunberg has apologised for declaring ‘we will make sure we put world leaders against the wall’ at a climate rally in Italy. 

The 16-year-old Swede had been addressing a furious protest in Turin on Friday when she warned that world leaders would not be allowed to ‘run away.’

After critics said she was advocating violence, Ms Thunberg tweeted an apology to her 3.6million followers, claiming her words had been lost in translation.

‘Yesterday I said we must hold our leaders accountable and unfortunately said “put them against the wall”. That’s Swenglish: ‘att ställa någon mot väggen’ (to put someone against the wall) means to hold someone accountable. That’s what happens when you improvise speeches in a second language.’ Ms Thunberg wrote.

‘But of course I apologise if anyone misunderstood this. I can not enough express the fact that I – as well as the entire school strike movement – are against any possible form of violence. It goes without saying but I say it anyway.’ 

After critics said she was advocating violence, Ms Thunberg tweeted an apology to her 3.6million followers, claiming her words in Turin on Friday had been lost in translation

She had arrived in Turin from Madrid where she was attending the UN climate summit but said she feared the event would not lead to change.

She said: ‘Unfortunately, we probably already know the outcome. World leaders are still trying to run away from their responsibilities but we have to make sure they cannot do that.

‘We will make sure that we put them against the wall and they will have to do their job to protect our futures.’ 

The controversy comes as Ms Thunberg, who has been named Time’s ‘Person of the Year’ revealed she would be taking a Christmas break.

‘I will be home for Christmas and then I will take a holiday break because you need to take rest,’ she told reporters in Italy.

Ms Thunberg was cheered by the crowd who chanted her name as she arrived wearing her favourite yellow raincoat and a woolly hat on Friday.

She said: ‘It is not fair that the older generation are handing over the responsibility to solve this crisis to us young people who have not started this crisis. It’s not fair that we have to do all this.

‘The adults are behaving as if there is no tomorrow but there is a tomorrow, it is the tomorrow where our young people will live and we have to fight for that tomorrow. ‘We can no longer take that tomorrow for granted.’

Ms Thunberg added that the next decade ‘will define our future.’

Greta Thunberg told cheering protesters Friday ‘we will make sure we put world leaders against the wall’ if they fail to take urgent action on climate change.

The Swedish teen activist was addressing the crowd at a Fridays for Future protest in Turin, Italy.

Protesters chanted Greta’s name as she addressed the crowd

Thunberg was mobbed by photographers and TV crews as she strolled through the Piazza Castello ahead of the protest.

She arrived in Italy wearing her favourite yellow raincoat and a woolly hat

Thunberg was recently named TIME Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year

She said: ‘What we decide to do or not to do in this decade we will have to live with for the rest of our lives.

‘And our children and our grandchildren will also have to live with it.

‘So 2019 is almost over and we must make sure that 2020 is the year of action, is the year when we bend the global emissions curve.

‘We must make sure, and we will make sure that if we stand together we can do it.’ 

Earlier, she was mobbed by photographers and TV crews as she strolled through the Piazza Castello ahead of the protest.

Earlier this week, Ms Thunberg berated rich countries for ‘misleading’ the world over their response to climate change.

Thunberg accused the older generation of ‘behaving as if there is no tomorrow.’

She also got into a Twitter spat with Donald Trump after she was chosen as Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year, an accolade the US president hoped to win.

Trump tweeted: ‘So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!’ 

Ms Thunberg responded by changing her Twitter bio to: ‘A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.’  

Ms Thunberg announced she would be attending the Turin event on Twitter saying: ‘This Friday 13th I’m looking forward to joining the climate strike in Torino, Italy on my way back home!’

Turin’s mayor Chiara Appendino tweeted: ‘Turin welcomes you, thank you for your visit’.   

Ms Thunberg shot to global fame last year after she started skipping school every Friday to protest outside the Swedish parliament. 

Deep in thought, Thunberg arrives for climate protest in Turin

Thunberg takes a stroll before the climate change demonstration begins

A protester in costume at the Fridays for Future protest in Turin, Italy

Thunberg in Turin’s Piazza Castello before thousands of fellow protesters arrive

Protesters in costumes at the Fridays for Future protest in Turin, Italy

A schoolgirl holds a placard at the climate change protest in Turin where Thunberg gave a rousing speech

Thunberg and fellow activists getting ready for the ‘Friday’s for Future’ demonstration.

Thunberg getting ready for another climate protest

The teen climate activist who has inspired a generation of youngsters 

Turin’s mayor Chiara Appendino welcomed Thunberg on twitter, saying: ‘Turin welcomes you, thank you for your visit’.

Thunberg arrives in Italy on her way home from Spain

Thunberg getting ready for another protest

A protester waves a banner at the climate change protest in Turin where Thunberg gave a rousing speech

A placard-waving protester at the climate change protest in Turin where Thunberg gave a rousing speech

Teen climate activist Greta arriving in Italy for a street demo 

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