Seven climate activists have been arrested during a series of protests across the UK on Monday, which have seen a coal conference blockaded and the occupation of shale gas explorer’s PR company.
Media Zoo, a PR company in Fulham representing the chemicals company Ineos, which has acquired 729 squre miles of fracking licenses, said that seven demonstrators had forced their way into its offices at 9AM. A spokesman said one member of staff had been assaulted and police had been called. All seven protesters have been arrested.
Twelve supporters from the Reclaim the Power group bared their bottoms on the steps of the Department of Energy and Climate Change in Whitehall, in protest at new climate secretary Amber Rudd supporting gas power and capping on onshore wind power subsidies. The group’s message read “wind not gas”.
Protesters also disrupted a carbon capture and storage conference organised by the World Coal Association at the Institute of Directors (IOD) in London. The activists blocked all the entrances, gluing themselves to the building and each other.
One protester, who did not want to be named told the Guardian: “We don’t think carbon capture and storage is a viable technology for the foreseeable future. There’s nothing to suggest is going to work. It’s a false solution that’s just going to be used by to coal industry to legitimise new coal power.”
He added: “The Tory government are in bed with the big polluters, and leading up to COP [Paris climate talks] in December our government meeting up with the coal industry shows their total lack of commitment.”
Dozens of delegates and members of the exclusive club were stranded on the street until 11.15AM when a contingent of three Metropolitan police vans arrived and the protesters unstuck themselves and left the building.
Some of the delegates managed to make it inside. A spokesperson for Reclaim the Power said they had blocked five entrances. A doorman at the IOD said: “People who are already in can’t get out because they have closed all the doors.”
In Leeds, 10 activists protested outside Npower offices against the company’s fossil fuel interests. A protest is also taking place at an Npower office in Swindon.
Maisie Bell, one of the 10 in Leeds, said: “ RWE Npower are the biggest CO2 emitter in Europe . They are committing us to untold damage from climate change, while taking none of the responsibility. We’re here today to highlight the hypocrisy of big energy companies profiting from a continued investment in destructive fossil fuels.”
In Oxfordshire, campaigners unfurled a banner reading “David Cameron in bed with the Big Six” outside the Conservative party office in Witney, where Cameron is MP.
Reclaim the Power are a group of climate change activists who have been camping in a field near Didcot B gas power station in Oxfordshire this weekend, in protest at the expansion of gas power and its contribution to global warming. The group has held protests in previous years against gas and fracking in Blackpool and Balcombe in West Sussex.