Environmentalists are staging a protest in a forest near Berlin against plans to expand the site of electric carmaker Tesla’s first plant in Europe, and have vowed to stay at the site for weeks.

Between 80 and 100 activists have been camped out in the forest since Thursday morning, according to an initiative called “Stop Tesla.” They pitched tents and built tree houses, some of them several meters above the ground, a tactic used in previous environmental protests in Germany.

Police decided the demonstration can continue at least until March 15, and are monitoring what happens, but see no need to dismantle the protest camp, German news agency dpa reported Friday.

Tesla set up the factory in Gruenheide, just outside Berlin, in March 2022, issuing a challenge to German automakers on their home turf.

Now, the company wants to expand the facility to add a cargo depot, warehouses and a company kindergarten. Those plans will involve clearing more than 100 hectares (247 acres) of forest.

This has provoked the position of environmentalists and some other local groups, who are also concerned about possible effects on the area’s water supply. In a non-binding vote in mid-February, residents of Gruenheide Township rejected Tesla’s plans, which have not yet been approved by local authorities.

Around 12,500 people are employed at the plant.

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