Greta Thunberg and several Greenpeace activists are among at least 13 individuals who will appear in court on Wednesday 15 November after being arrested at a protest against a major oil and gas industry conference held at the five-star Intercontinental Hotel in Mayfair last month. Greenpeace UK and Fossil Free London will demonstrate in solidarity outside the court at 10am, holding banners bearing the slogan ‘Make Polluters Pay’.
Thunberg and the Greenpeace activists were among dozens of protesters arrested by Metropolitan Police officers while peacefully protesting at the 2023 Energy Intelligence Forum. Thunberg and all of the Greenpeace activists were charged with failing to comply with a condition imposed under Section 14 of the Public Order Act.
The mass demonstration, which was attended by hundreds of protesters from across the UK and Europe, was organised by Fossil Free London under the slogan ‘Oily Money Out’ and supported by a range of environmental groups including Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion. Due to the protest, Shell CEO Wael Sawan delivered a keynote speech via video link.
The hearing comes a week after Shell launched an intimidation lawsuit against Greenpeace UK and Greenpeace International – demanding Greenpeace stop protests at its infrastructure at sea or in port anywhere in the world, forever, or face an $8.6m damages claim and an injunction. The lawsuit is Shell’s response to a peaceful protest by Greenpeace International earlier this year, in which activists occupied a moving oil platform to protest against the climate change loss and damage caused by Shell.
Maja Darlington, Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “Our activists joined the demonstration to send a clear and peaceful message to the oil bosses attending the conference: Big Oil must pay for the damage they are causing to our planet and those who inhabit it. 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.
“People are sick of watching their leaders throw their weight behind their chums in the fossil fuel industry while bills continue to rise and ever more extreme weather wreaks havoc the world over. Instead of arresting those standing up to the fossil fuel industry, the UK government should make polluters pay for the millions losing lives and livelihoods for the profit margins of the fossil fuel industry.”