Greta Thunberg Arrested Again

This time in London for protesting Big Oil in front of an energy conference
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 17, 2023 11:55 AM CDT
Greta Thunberg Busted Again, This Time in London
Environmental activists attend the "Oily Money Out" protest outside the InterContinental hotel in London on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Greta Thunberg was detained by British police on Tuesday alongside other climate activists who gathered outside a central London hotel to disrupt a major oil and gas industry conference. As the AP reports, Thunberg was among dozens of chanting protesters who sought to block access to the luxury InterContinental hotel on Park Lane, which is hosting the Energy Intelligence Forum. The conference features speakers including the chief executives of Shell, Saudi Arabia's Aramco, and Norway's Equinor, as well as the UK's energy security minister. An AP photographer saw Thunberg being led away by officers and taken into a police vehicle, along with about 10 other activists.

Protesters attempted to block access to the conference venue by sitting on the sidewalk by the entrance. They held aloft banners and chanted "Oily money out!" and "Cancel the conference!," while some lit yellow and pink smoke flares. Two Greenpeace activists abseiled down from the roof of the hotel to unfurl a giant banner reading "Make Big Oil Pay." London's Metropolitan Police said six people were initially arrested on suspicion of obstructing a highway during the protest. The force said a further 14 were detained on suspicion of disrupting public order, and one other person was detained for criminal damage. Police said they engaged in conversations with the protesters on allowing people to access the venue safely and prevent serious disruption to the hotel and guests, but some of the activists refused to move from the road. No charges have been issued yet.

The protesters accuse fossil fuel companies of deliberately slowing the global energy transition to renewables in order to make more profit. "The world is drowning in fossil fuels. Our hopes and dreams and lives are being washed away by a flood of greenwashing and lies," Thunberg told reporters before she was detained. "It has been clear for decades that the fossil fuel industries were well aware of the consequences of their business models, and yet they have done nothing."

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"We cannot let this continue," she added. "The elite of the oil and money conference, they have no intention of transition. We have no other option but to put our bodies outside this conference and to physically disrupt. And we have to do that every time, we have to continue showing them that they are not going to get away with this." Police said those detained were taken into custody and that officers remained on-site. Environmental groups say they'll continue to protest throughout the planned forum, which is expected to last three days. (More Greta Thunberg stories.)

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