Greta Thunberg stands trial in London over oil protest

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg faced trial on Thursday for a public order offense related to a protest outside an oil and gas conference held in London last year.

Publication: 01.02.2024 - 16:15
Greta Thunberg stands trial in London over oil protest
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Thunberg, who gained worldwide prominence for her weekly protests in front of the Swedish parliament in 2018, was arrested on October 17. She and other protesters had gathered outside a hotel where the Energy Intelligence Forum was hosting leaders from the oil and gas industry.

The 21-year-old appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday, accompanied by four other defendants ranging in age from 19 to 59. All of them have pleaded not guilty to a single offense under the Public Order Act.

The five individuals are accused of failing to comply with a condition imposed by senior police officers, which required them to move their protest to a designated area near the conference venue. Prosecutor Luke Staton argued that this condition was lawfully imposed because officers reasonably believed that the protest "may result in serious disruption to the life of the community."

According to Staton, Thunberg was warned by officers that she needed to leave, or she would be arrested. She chose to stay in place and was subsequently arrested. Earlier, a smiling Thunberg navigated her way through photographers and police officers, while environmental activists outside the court chanted "Climate protest is not a crime."

The trial is being presided over by a judge without a jury and is expected to last at least two days. If convicted, the defendants could each face a maximum fine of £2,500 ($3,160).

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