Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg was charged by London police over Tuesday demonstrations around a major energy industry event in the city, where crowds of protesters had blocked several top oil executives from entering the venue.
(Bloomberg) — Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg was charged by London police over Tuesday demonstrations around a major energy industry event in the city, where crowds of protesters had blocked several top oil executives from entering the venue.
The Metropolitan Police Service said it had charged 26 people in relation to the protests. Most of the individuals were charged under new laws that have increased the police’s powers to disrupt peaceful protests.
Thunberg had addressed protesters on Tuesday who held signs saying “People not Profit” as delegates tried to gain access to the Intercontinental Hotel. As many as 250 demonstrators blocked entrances to the building, where the annual Energy Intelligence Forum is taking place through Thursday. Executives from companies including Gunvor Group, Trafigura Group and Shell Plc were unable to deliver speeches.
“The arrest of Greta and other peaceful protesters are yet another example of this government’s disturbing crackdown on peaceful protest which is a core right in any free and functioning democratic society,” Areeba Hamid, co-executive director of Greenpeace UK, said.
The arrest highlights how policing of protests has hardened since the Conservative Government pushed through new laws in May after a spate of environmental protests caused disruption to critical infrastructure around the country.
Protesters have gathered again on Wednesday shouting “shame on you” at anyone entering the building, along with a heavy police presence. Separately the two founders of the Just Stop Oil protest movement were arrested at their homes earlier on Wednesday.
Thunberg, who had addressed protesters who held signs saying “People not Profit,” was ordered to appear at a London court on November 15.
The police said the people failed to comply with a condition imposed for the protests. “The protesters were asked to move from the road onto the pavement, which would enable them to continue with their demonstration without breaching the conditions,” they said in a Wednesday statement.
Further protests are planned throughout the three-day conference, Greenpeace said in an email.
–With assistance from Priscila Azevedo Rocha.
(Updates with Greenpeace comment in the fourth paragraph)
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