Greta Thunberg: Swedish climate activist denies public order offence after London oil protest arrest
Thunberg appeared alongside four other protesters, and was reportedly seen laughing and smiling during her appearance
Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has denied a public order offence after a protest in central London last month, which saw activists block access to a luxury hotel.
The 20-year-old from Sweden was arrested at a demonstration on 17 October, after hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Intercontinetal Hotel in Mayfair during a major summit of oil industry leaders. She and four other Fossil Free London protesters pleaded not guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning (15 November) to breaching Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 - by blocking the entrance to the hotel.
Thunberg confirmed her name and date of birth, but her address in Stockholm was not read out in court due to concerns over alleged threats she has received, PA reports. She was reportedly seen laughing and smiling as the hearing took place.
The protesters were granted unconditional bail ahead of a trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court, scheduled to begin on 1 February next year. Five others also charged over the protest are expected to appear in court later on Wednesday.
A group of Greenpeace and Fossil Free London protesters gathered outside the court, chanting and holding banners reading “Oily Money Out” and “Make Polluters Pay”. Fossil Free London, which organised the October demonstration, wants money from the fossil fuel industry "out of our politics", and out of climate negotiations at COP28 later this month.
Thunberg has been an active environmental campaigner since the age of 15 and was fined by a Swedish court in July for stopping traffic during an environmental protest at an oil facility.