Climate activist Greta Thunberg defied police at protest, court hears


Supporters were already gathered outside court on Thursday when Thunberg arrived around an hour before the 10.00am start of her trial.

They held large yellow signs reading “fossil free London” and “climate protest is not a crime” as Thunberg, wearing a grey coat, and her fellow defendants made their way through the crowd.

Maja Darlington, campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said the activists were on trial “for peacefully protesting” while oil executives were “celebrating making billions from selling climate-wrecking fossil fuels”.

“The prosecution of Greta and other peaceful protesters reflects a government that cares more about bolstering the profits of oil bosses than fighting for a liveable future for all of us,” she added.

The Conservative government’s reversals on its pledges to combat climate change have angered campaigners.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has postponed a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars and announced plans to grant new licences to drill for oil and gas in the North Sea.

The British electorate, which votes in a general election this year, is facing an inflation-fuelled cost-of-living crisis.

On Monday, the UK’s independent advisory body on climate strategy expressed concern that the government was sending out “mixed messages” that were tarnishing its international influence on the issue.

Thunberg, who came to worldwide attention as a 15-year-old by staging school strikes in her native Sweden, regularly takes part in such demonstrations.

She was fined in October for blocking the port of Malmo in Sweden, a few months after being forcibly removed by police during a demonstration against the use of coal in Germany.

She also joined a march last weekend in southern England to protest against the expansion of Farnborough airport, mainly used by private jets.

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