UK court rejects case against Greta Thunberg over London climate protest | Climate Crisis News
The Swedish climate activist was on trial for protesting outside an oil and gas conference in London in October.
Climate activist Greta Thunberg was cleared of a public order offense following a protest outside an oil and gas conference last year, after a judge in a London court ruled she had no case to answer. .
District Judge John Law dismissed the case against the 21-year-old Swedish activist and four other activists on the second day of their trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
He concluded that police had tried to impose “illegal” conditions at an environmental demonstration in the British capital last October when they were arrested.
Thunberg, who became a prominent global activist after holding weekly protests in front of the Swedish parliament in 2018, was arrested along with dozens of others outside a hotel in in London where the Energy Information Forum hosted oil and gas industry leaders.
She and four others, aged between 19 and 59, were also accused of disobeying an order from the police to move their protest to a designated place near the conference.
Thunberg had pleaded not guilty in November to breaching public order law, along with two activists from the campaign group Fossil Free London (FFL) and two Greenpeace activists.
She also joined a march last weekend in the south of England to protest against the expansion of Farnborough airport, which is mainly used by private jets.
‘Remember who the real enemy is’
Before the court’s ruling on Friday, Thunberg lamented that he was unable to have a climate strike in London.
“Although we are the ones standing here, and climate, environmental and human rights activists around the world are being targeted for their activities, accused, sometimes convicted and given legal punishments to be given for working according to science,” she said in a post. on the X social media platform.
“We have to remember who the real enemy is,” she said.
Week 285. Today we cannot have a climate strike. I am one of 5 activists on trial in London for peacefully protesting against the oil conference in October. The exhibition aimed to highlight the terrible impact of the fossil fuel industry on a daily basis.
– Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) February 2, 2024
Addressing the five defendants on Friday, Law said, “You have all been found not guilty of this crime.”
In his decision, he also pointed out that the conditions imposed on protesters were “so vague as to be illegal”, which meant that “no one who failure to comply commits any offence”.
Greenpeace UK campaigner Maja Darlington hailed Friday’s decision as a “victory for the right to protest”.
She told the AFP news agency that it is “ridiculous that more and more climate activists are finding themselves in court for exercising their right to protest peacefully, while fossil fuel giants like Shell gets billions in profits from selling fossil fuels that are destroying the climate. .”
Thunberg and her four co-defendants kissed before they left the court.