Climate activist Greta Thunberg defended climate activists facing prosecution in court, saying: “We must remember who the real enemy is.”
The 21-year-old was arrested during a protest near the InterContinental Hotel in Mayfair on October 17.
Oil executives were meeting indoors for an energy information forum.
Ms Thunberg appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court after previously denying breaching the 1986 Public Order Act.
She is accused of violating Section 14 of the law by blocking the hotel entrance.
Ms Thunberg appeared in court with two Fossil Free London protesters and two Greenpeace activists, who also pleaded not guilty to the same crime.
“Who is the real enemy?”
Outside the court, Thunberg made a statement alongside some of the other defendants in which she said: “Even though we stand here, climate, environmental and human rights activists around the world are being pursued, sometimes convicted, and imprisoned… Penalties for acting In line with science.
“We have to remember who the real enemy is, what we stand for, and who our laws are meant to protect.”
She added: “History has judged those who deliberately destroy and sacrifice resources at the expense of humanity, at the expense of all who suffer from the consequences of the environmental and climate crisis, and at the expense of future generations.” “Your children and grandchildren won’t be nice.”
Earlier, the court heard that Greta Thunberg was given a “final warning” by police before she was arrested.
Judge Andrew Cox, the most senior Metropolitan Police officer on the ground that day, told the court that the protesters had refused to move despite repeated police requests.
Protesters began gathering near the hotel at around 07:30 GMT, and police cooperated with them on improving access for members of the public, which had become “impossible”, judges were told.
The court heard that as the protest continued, the “majority” of people inside the hotel were unable to leave and people were unable to enter.
Superintendent Cox told the court he had no choice but to impose a Section 14 condition at around 12:30 GMT, which stipulated that the protest could continue on the sidewalk south of the hotel.
Officers engaged with individual protesters and informed them of their Section 14 status, the judges were told, including Ms. Thunberg, who was standing outside the hotel entrance.
“She said she would stay”
Prosecutor Luke Staton said one officer warned her that her failure to comply would result in her arrest, and while that officer was working elsewhere, another officer spoke to Ms. Thunberg and “gave her a final warning.”
“She said she was staying where she was, so she was arrested,” Staton said.
The Swede continued to take notes in a small notebook as the proceedings proceeded.
Arriving at court earlier, Ms Thunberg, founder of the school strike for climate movement, walked past environmental protesters who were demonstrating in “solidarity” with the defendants.
They held up large yellow banners reading “Climate protest is not a crime” and cardboard banners saying “Who are the real criminals?”, in addition to banners.
Amnesty International UK chief executive Sacha Deshmukh said her peaceful climate protests should be “lauded”.
He said: “The charges against Thunberg and all activists highlight all the wrongs in policing of protests in the UK today.”
“Police are increasingly using their expanded powers to silence legitimate protests.”
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