OAN’s Abril Elfi
9:16 AM – Saturday, February 3, 2024
A judge has thrown out the case against climate activist Greta Thunberg after blocking the entrance to an oil and gas industry during a protest.
On Friday, Judge John Law acquitted Thunberg and her four co-defendants of a charge of resisting a police order to leave from a protest that was obstructing the entrance to a conference for the oil and gas industry in London last year.
The law cited “significant deficiencies in the evidence” presented by the prosecutor and cleared them of the criminal charge of breaching the Public Order Act.
Raj Chada, the defense attorney, was also granted permission by law to request that the government reimburse Thunberg’s travel expenses and legal fees after the bills are filed.
“The conditions imposed on the protest were unclear, uncertain, and unlawful,” Chada said outside court. “The government should stop prosecuting peaceful protesters and instead find ways to tackle the climate crisis.”
Before giving the order for protestors to relocate to a nearby street, Metropolitan Police Superintendent Matthew Cox stated that he had worked with the protesters for roughly five hours because he was worried about the safety of individuals inside the hotel.
“It seemed like a very deliberate attempt… to prevent access to the hotel for most delegates and the guests,” Cox testified. “People were really restricted from having access to the hotel.”
The Swedish environmentalist was one of over twenty-one demonstrators detained for blocking a hotel entrance during the Energy Intelligence Forum, which was attended by some of the leading figures in business.
According to Cox, while some protesters sat on the ground and others rappelled from the hotel’s roof, demonstrators lit colorful flares and drummers produced a deafening din outside the establishment. As police started making arrests, other demonstrators quickly took over, creating a “perpetual cycle” in which there weren’t enough officers to continue making arrests.
Prosecutor Luke Staton stated that Thunberg received a final warning that she would be arrested if she disobeyed while she was outside the hotel’s front door. Her intention was to remain in her current location.
Numerous demonstrations against fossil fuel companies took place in the UK on October 17th and resulted in criminal charges. Some protests tried to raise awareness of the climate crisis by interfering with athletic events, causing severe traffic jams.
However, the judge pointed out that Thunberg, 21, was part of a “peaceful, civilized, and nonviolent” demonstration.
“It is quite striking to me that there were no witness statements taken from anyone in the hotel—approximately 1,000 people—or from anyone trying to get in,” Law said. “There was no evidence of any vehicles being impeded, no evidence of any interference with emergency services, or any risk to life.”
According to Thunberg and other climate protestors, fossil fuel corporations are allegedly purposely delaying the global energy transition to renewables in order to increase profits and also object to the recent approval by the British government of oil drilling in the North Sea, off the coast of Scotland.
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