On Monday in Rome, an effigy of climate activist Greta Thunberg was hung from a bridge nearby Fiumicino Airport.
This is not the first demonstration of hate targeting the 16-year-old environmentalist. She has been harassed and attacked online by trolls, including a teacher who “joked” about bringing his rifle to one of her events. And back in August, prominent Brexit funder Arron Banks who tweeted “Freak yachting accidents do happen in August…” in response to Thunberg’s trip across the North Atlantic by sailboat.
Freak yachting accidents do happen in August ... https://t.co/6CPePHYLtu— Arron Banks (@Arron_banks) August 14, 2019
The effigy, which took the form of a mannequin sporting Thunberg’s trademark pigtails and what appeared to be a yellow raincoat, was condemned by the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi.
She called the effigy “shameful” and expressed her solidarity with Greta and her family. She also said that Italy’s commitment to climate will not stop.
Vergognoso il manichino di @GretaThunberg ritrovato appeso a un ponte nella nostra città. A lei e alla sua famiglia la mia solidarietà e quella di tutta @Roma. Il nostro impegno sul clima non si ferma. pic.twitter.com/YXMXMJDA3D— Virginia Raggi (@virginiaraggi) October 7, 2019
Leftist PD party leader Nicola Zingaretti also condemned the effigy, calling it “grisly violence.”
Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that a sign reading “Great is Your God” hung alongside the effigy. La Repubblica also said that a group calling itself “The Awake” claimed responsibility and that they wrote “We hanged Greta Thunberg in Rome” in a Facebook post.
The demonstration occurred while the Vatican is hosting a gathering of South American bishops to discuss the Amazon, evangelization, and the environment.
Thunberg is currently visiting Native American Indian reservations in the Dakotas to discuss oil pipelines. She recently delivered a speech to world leaders at the UN in order to get people to take climate change seriously and work to slow its effects on our environment.
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean,” Thunberg said in her speech. “Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
Roman police are investigating the incident as an “aggravated threat.”