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19 Oct, 2023 14:04

UK to prosecute Greta Thunberg – WaPo

Police have charged the Swedish climate activist after she protested outside an oil and gas conference
UK to prosecute Greta Thunberg – WaPo

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has been ordered to appear in a UK court after being arrested at a climate protest outside an oil and gas conference in London on Wednesday, the Washington Post has reported.

Thunberg, 20, was accused of “failing to comply with a condition imposed under section 14 of the Public Order Act,” the newspaper said, citing an emailed statement from London Metropolitan Police. The activist was released on bail and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on November 15.

Prior to her arrest, Thunberg and other protestors had blocked the entrance to a hotel in London’s upscale Mayfair district where the event was being held, chanting “oil money out.”

Managing director of Good Law Practice, Lochlinn Parker, told the Washington Post that UK police have been granted more powers and are willing to use them, which has led to a “significant uptick in arrests.”  Thunberg could face a fine of up to £2,500 (around $3,000) if found guilty, he noted. By comparison, fines for similar offenses in her native Sweden are closer to $200.

Arrests at public protests have apparently become routine for Thunberg. The environmentalist has been charged and fined twice this year in Sweden, where she and fellow activists from the Reclaim the Future group blocked a road used to transport oil. She was also detained in Germany for protesting the demolition of a village to make way for a coal mine, and in Norway for demanding the removal of 151 wind turbines from reindeer pastures.

While she has long been admired in liberal media, others have criticized the young climate activist for her actions and demands for radical changes in various industrial sectors. In March, Polish miners staged a mock funeral for Thunberg to protest an EU emissions directive that they argue could lead to the closure of most of the country’s coal mines.

Despite her lack of specific environmental policies, Thunberg is known for raising public awareness of climate change around the world, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize every year between 2019 and 2023.