Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Cases dropped against Greta Thunberg

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg reacts outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London.

Agence France-Presse

The world's face of the fight against global warming Greta Thunberg won her trial in London on Friday, where she was on trial for disturbing public order during a demonstration against the industry. hydrocarbons, last October.

In this new trial in Europe against the 21-year-old Swedish activist, the judge at Westminster Magistrates Court, in the center of the British capital, decided to drop the charges, accusing the police of excessive repression.

This decision was welcomed by a dozen activists gathered in front of the court, with signs reading: These are not the climate criminals you are looking for , or Demonstrating for the climate is not a crime.

In total, 26 activists were arrested on October 17 for disrupting access to the Energy Intelligence Forum, a conference which brought together the main oil and gas companies in a luxury hotel in London.

Greta Thunberg was prosecuted for not having complied with the London police's injunction not to block access to the hotel. She, like four other activists who appeared with her, risked a maximum fine of 2,500 pounds (around C$4,250).

But Judge John Law considered that the conditions of the demonstration had been unreasonably imposed by the police on the activists present at the scene, and that other measures were available and could have been put in place.

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Consequently, anyone who has not not respecting these rules did not commit an offense, he added.

These rules were illegal because they disproportionately contravened our clients' right to freedom of expression, the lawyer insisted by Greta Thunberg Raj Chada, in a statement delivered to the court following the trial.

The government should stop prosecuting peaceful protesters and instead find ways to tackle the climate crisis, he added, urging the government to stop defending hydrocarbon exploration projects in the country.

Released under judicial supervision after her arrest, the activist took part the next day in a new demonstration in front of the five-star hotel , along with hundreds of other people.

Environmental and human rights activists around the world are being prosecuted […] for acting in accordance with science. We must remember who the real enemy is.

A quote from Greta Thunberg, leaving the court after the first day of hearing, Thursday

Shortly after, accompanied by activists from the Extinction Rebellion (XR) group, she was invited to a conference on scientific forecasts organized by the Science Museum in London, and questioned museum officials on one of its sponsors, the Adani conglomerate, particularly active in coal, according to a press release from XR.

It is ridiculous that more and more climate activists are finding themselves in court […] while fossil fuel giants, like Shell, are allowed to make billions in profits selling climate-destroying fossil fuels .

A quote from the Greenpeace organization

In the United Kingdom, the government of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has attracted the anger of environmental activists, part of the political class and even his own camp for his reversals on key measures of his climate policy.

He is particularly criticized for having decided to grant new permits to exploit hydrocarbon deposits in the North Sea.

Environmental groups like Just Stop Oil or Extinction Rebellion have increased their actions to denounce this policy.

Very hostile to these movements, the British government has toughened legislation to punish them more severely and dissuade them from taking action.

Greta Thunberg, who gained worldwide notoriety with her school climate strikes that began at the age of 15 in Sweden, regularly takes part in such protests.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">In October, she was fined for blocking the port of Malmö, Sweden.

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