Competing demonstrations by opponents and employees of the German Tesla factory follow one another in Grünheide, near Berlin. On Sunday, it was the turn of opponents to march peacefully against the project to extend the manufacturer’s only European factory. Neighboring residents have been protesting for several weeks against the expansion of the site and the construction of a nearby electric battery factory. Tesla’s goal is to double production capacity to 1 million vehicles per year. The factory currently employs 12,000 people and produces around 1,000 cars per week.

Tension has escalated between the two camps since last week. The factory’s employees were evacuated following the arson, by a group of activists called “Vulkan”, of an electricity pylon supplying the site.

While the factory director said he had no visibility on its restart, the head of the works council, Michaela Schmitz, assured Friday evening to the employees gathered to protest against this sabotage, that the factory would resume its activity this week . “Alongside many chapters of exceptional achievement, this attack will go down as a dark chapter in our history,” she added. But that won’t stop us. Colleagues were condemned to stay at home, instead of contributing together and successfully to the energy transition.”