British court dismisses case against Greta Thunberg over climate protest 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 campaigner Greta Thunberg was cleared of public order offenses following a protest outside an oil and gas conference last year, after a judge at a London court ruled that ‘she had no business answering.

District Judge John Law dismissed the charges against the 21-year-old Swedish activist and four other activists on Friday on the second day of their trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

He ruled that police had attempted to impose “unlawful” conditions during an environmental protest in the British capital last October, when she was arrested.

Thunberg, who became a prominent activist around the world after organizing weekly protests outside the Swedish parliament in 2018, was arrested with dozens of others outside a London hotel where the Energy Intelligence Forum was hosting energy leaders. oil and gas industry.

She and four others, aged 19 to 59, were also charged with 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 breaching a public order law, alongside two protesters from campaign group Fossil Free London (FFL) and two Greenpeace activists.

She also took part in a march last weekend in the south of England to protest the expansion of Farnborough Airport, mainly used by private jets.

‘Remember who the real enemy is’

Before Friday’s court ruling, Thunberg lamented the impossibility of organizing a climate strike in London.

“Even though we are the ones here and climate, environmental and human rights activists around the world are targeted for their activism, prosecuted, sometimes convicted and punished by law for taking action in accordance with science,” she said in a message. on the social media platform

“We must remember who the real enemy is,” she added.

Addressing the five defendants on Friday, Law said: “You are all found not guilty of this offence. »

In his ruling, he also pointed out that the conditions imposed on the protesters were “so unclear as to be unlawful”, meaning that “anyone who did not comply was in fact committing no offence”.

Maja Darlington, a Greenpeace campaigner in the UK, hailed Friday’s verdict as “a victory for the right to protest.”

She told the AFP news agency that “it is ridiculous that more and more climate activists are finding themselves in court for peacefully exercising their right to protest, while fossil fuel giants like Shell are allowed to reap billions in profits from selling climate-destroying fossil fuels.” .”

Thunberg and his four co-defendants embraced each other before leaving the court.

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