Explained: Why Greta Thunberg faces police action in London? | World News - Hindustan Times
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Explained: Why Greta Thunberg faces police action in London?

Oct 19, 2023 05:18 PM IST

Greta Thurnberg, 20, was charged along with 28 other protesters in relation to Tuesday's protest, the Guardian reported.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was charged by the UK Police with a public order offence after she was arrested with other activists during a protest outside a London hotel out an event dubbed as 'Oscars of Oil'.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is arrested outside the InterContinental London Park Lane during the "Oily Money Out" demonstration organised by Fossil Free London and Greenpeace. (AFP)
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is arrested outside the InterContinental London Park Lane during the "Oily Money Out" demonstration organised by Fossil Free London and Greenpeace. (AFP)

Thunberg, 20, was charged along with 28 other protesters in relation to Tuesday's protest, the Guardian reported.

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Becoming the face of young climate activists, Thunberg began holding weekly protests outside the Swedish Parliament in 2018.

Why did Thunberg face police action in London?

Thunberg was protesting to stop delegates from entering a conference of oil and gas industry leaders hosted by the Energy Intelligence Forum at the InterContinental London Park Lane in Mayfair.

Videos showed Thunberg being taken away in a police van as she joined protests with the crowd blocking the entrance of the hotel and chanting “oily money out”. Several police officers had to shove protesters aside to create a way for delegates to enter.

The UK police, as per Reuters, said that Thunberg and other protesters failed to comply with conditions and the charges were imposed in order to prevent “serious disruption to the community, hotel and guests”.

Police said she was charged with “failing to comply with a condition imposed under section 14 of the Public Order Act”. Police had demanded for the protesters to move from the road towards the pavement.

Even after her arrest, the protests against the Energy Intelligence Forum continued as protesters occupied offices of insurers and demanded ruling out insuring the proposed West Cumbria coalmine and the East Africa crude oil pipeline.

Thunberg's charges came as cofounders of the Just Stop Oil campaign — Indigo Rumbelow and Roger Hallam — were arrested by the British police on Wednesday after raids at their homes.

A spokesperson said, “We will not be intimidated by our criminal government… Not content with cheering on war crimes in Gaza, by maxing out our oil and gas reserves they are complicit in the greatest crime in human history … no one has ever voted for this, there has never been a democratic mandate to destroy the habitable world.”

Thunberg has been released on bail and was asked to appear in court on November 15.

What is the oil protest?

Fossil Free London organised a protest for the first day of the three-day-long Energy Intelligence Forum — which was initially called the Oil and Money Conference — where oil companies Shell and Total were set to speak. ,

Fossil Free London Director Robin Wells said that such events were an opportunity for the oil industry to gather politicians and ensure that they continue to corrupt political processes.

Speaking at the rally, Thunberg said, “Behind these closed doors at the Oil and Money conference, spineless politicians are making deals and compromises with lobbyists from destructive industries - the fossil fuel industry. People all over the world are suffering and dying from the consequences of the climate crisis caused by these industries who we allow to meet with our politicians and have privileged access to.”

Thunberg added, “That is why we have to take direct action to stop this and to kick oily money out of politics.”

Greenpeace UK's Maja Darlington said to BBC that oil companies were “toasting each other in luxury hotels” and were planning to make bigger profits as millions of people struggled to rebuild after an extreme summer.

“Big oil is profiting from humanity's loss and those who have done the least to cause climate change are being forced to pay the price.”

Main speakers of the conference included — Chief executives of Saudi Arabia's Oil Group Aramco and Norway's energy company Equinor, the German ambassador to the UK and Britain's energy security and net zero minister Graham Stuart.

Stuart has reportedly said earlier that allowing oil and gas companies to continue to drill for oil at the North Sea for various resources was essential for energy security.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Sanskriti Falor is a Senior Content Producer at the News Desk of HT Digital. Having worked in Digital Media for the past two years, she is interested in covering civic issues and global affairs.

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