Greta Thunberg has been arrested in London, as reported by the Reuters agency. The activist protested against the Energy Intelligence Forum, where leaders from global oil giants like TotalEnergies and Shell gather at the InterContinental Park Lane hotel.
In some videos shared on social media and published by the Daily Mail, the 20-year-old Swedish activist can be seen smiling as she is taken into custody by the officers and escorted to a police van. The police also stated that they had detained five other individuals for blocking the highway.
Among the speakers at the conference were also the CEOs of Saudi Arabia’s Aramco group and Norway’s Equinor, as well as the UK’s Minister of Energy Security.
Several hundred protesters blocked the entrances to the luxury hotel near Hyde Park, and officers from Scotland Yard intervened, making arrests.
Environmental protest and arrest in London
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the protest, the young Swedish activist criticized the “closed-door” meeting and the agreements made between political representatives and the “lobbyists of the destructive fossil fuel industry.”
The demonstration was organized by the environmental NGO Fossil Free London. In a statement, they pointed fingers at the record profits made by oil and gas companies last year. These profits were “directly reinvested in the expansion of fossil fuels, and not in green energy” as promised.
Activists also criticized the presidency of COP28. The annual United Nations climate conference is scheduled from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai. It has been entrusted to Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the head of the state-owned petroleum giant of the United Arab Emirates.
Thunberg’s previous activism and legal consequences
A few days ago, the activist had already drawn attention from the authorities, but on that occasion, the events occurred in her native Sweden. The triggering event was her action in the port of Malmö. Thunberg was fined for “disobeying public order”: 90 days of fines, equivalent to 5,500 Swedish kronor, which is approximately 476 euros.
She had participated in the blockade of the port of Malmö on July 24, immediately after a previous conviction for the same action carried out the previous month. “This shows very clearly the shortcomings of our system: those who try to defend people, the planet, and life are the ones who then have to face these legal consequences,” the young Swedish environmentalist said as she left the Malmö court.
On that occasion, the activist was wearing a t-shirt with a message in support of science. In contrast, she had stated, “those who cause the climate crisis, a matter of life or death, destroy the planet without consequences.”
According to the judge, Greta Thunberg “participated with others in the blockade of a road without authorization, disrupting public order.”
With other activists, she had blocked access to the port to protest against the use of fossil fuels and had refused to obey police orders. On the same day, she was fined a total of 2,500 kronor, approximately 216 euros.