Climate activist Greta Thunberg detained by police at a protest against an oil and gas conference in London

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Climate activist Greta Thunberg was detained by police in London after she and others protested outside an oil and gas conference, preventing some delegates from attending.

Thunberg, who became the face of young climate activists worldwide after staging weekly protests in front of the Swedish parliament in 2018, has this year been detained by police or removed from protests in Sweden, Norway and Germany.

She was detained during a Fossil Free London protest outside the InterContinental Hotel on Park Lane, where oil and gas executives were meeting.

Thunberg was seen wearing a badge with the slogan 'Oily Money Out' and standing with two police officers who spoke to her.

One was seen holding her arm while still images showed her being searched and placed in the back of a police van.

London's Metropolitan Police did not immediately provide a statement on Thunberg, but posted on messaging platform X that they had made 20 arrests in connection with protesters outside the hotel.

The arrests were to "prevent serious disruption to the community, hotel and guests", but "a number of protesters failed to do so", which resulted in six arrests for obstruction of the highway, a further 14 arrests for Section 14 breaches and one for criminal damage.

Greta Thunberg speaks to the press as she joins activists from a variety of groups including Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe for Greenpeace via Getty Images)

Speaking earlier at the protest Thunberg had said: "The world is drowning in fossil fuels. People all over the world are suffering and dying from the consequences of the climate crisis caused by these industries."

"Behind these closed doors at the Oil and Money conference, spineless politicians are making deals and compromises with lobbyists from destructive industries - the fossil fuel industry.

She added: "That is why we have to take direct action to stop this and to kick oily money out of politics."

Protestors shouted mantras such as "oily money out" and "cancel the conference", carried banners and pink umbrellas with eyes painted on and lit coloured smoke flares.

Britain's energy security and net zero minister Graham Stuart, who has previously said that allowing oil and gas companies to continue drilling the North Sea for resources is necessary for energy security, was in attendance at the conference.

Greta Thunberg joining protestors outside the InterContinental Hotel in Mayfair (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe for Greenpeace via Getty Images)