British court rejects lawsuit against Greta Thunberg over climate protests in London | 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 has been acquitted of violating public order over 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.
It was ruled that police had tried to impose “unlawful” conditions during an environmental protest in the British capital last October when they were arrested.
Thunberg, who became a prominent activist around the world after organizing weekly protests in front of the Swedish Parliament in 2018, was arrested with dozens of others outside a London hotel where the Energy Intelligence Forum was hosting oil and gas industry leaders.
She and four others, aged between 19 and 59, were also accused of failing to comply with a police order to move their protest to a designated area near the conference.
Thunberg pleaded not guilty in November to a charge of violating a public order law, along with two protesters from the Fossil Free London (FFL) campaign group and two Greenpeace activists.
She also joined a march last weekend in southern England to protest the expansion of Farnborough Airport, which is mainly used by private aircraft.
“Remember who the real enemy is”
Before the court’s ruling on Friday, Thunberg expressed her regret at being unable to organize a climate strike in London.
“Even though we are the ones standing here, climate, environmental and human rights activists around the world are being targeted for their activism, prosecuted, sometimes convicted, and legally sanctioned for acting in line with science,” she said in a post. On the social media platform X.
“We have to remember who the real enemy is,” she added.
Week 285. Today we cannot strike for climate. I am one of 5 activists on trial in London for peacefully protesting against the October oil conference. The demonstration aims to highlight the dire consequences of the daily actions of fossil fuel companies.
– Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) February 2, 2024
Addressing the five defendants on Friday, Lu said: “All of you have been found not guilty of this crime.”
In his ruling, he also stressed that the conditions imposed on the protesters were “so clear as to be unlawful,” meaning that “anyone who did not comply had in fact committed no crime.”
Greenpeace UK activist Maja Darlington praised Friday’s ruling as a “victory for the right to protest.”
“It is ridiculous that more and more climate activists find themselves in court for peacefully exercising their right to protest, while fossil fuel giants like Shell are allowed to make billions in profits from the sale of climate-destroying fossil fuels,” she told AFP news agency. “.
Thunberg and the four defendants hugged her before leaving the court.
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