Greta Thunberg protests Rishi Sunak’s speech at Lord Mayor’s banquet

Anti-fossil fuel activists joined by Swedish environmentalist to drown out Prime Minister at banquet with Lord Mayor and bankers

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg joined anti-fossil fuel protesters in London last night to disrupt a speech by the Prime Minister at the Lord Mayor’s banquet.

Rishi Sunak was delivering a keynote address at a banquet celebrating the incumbent Lord Mayor, which boasted bankers and business leaders among the guests. but activists from the group Fossil Free London staged a noisy protest outside the Guildhall venue, chanting ‘stop Rosebank’, banging pots and pans and playing drums in an attempt to drown our Sunak’s speech.

It comes as climate campaigners have been left once again disheartened and disappointed by the direct of the UK government on the environment after the King’s Speech, which promised to allow new yearly rounds of licensing to drill for oil and gas in the North Sea.

This only confirming Sunak’s intentions to “max out” fossil fuel reserves in the North Sea, following on from the UK government’s approval of 27 new oil and gas licences – a move branded ‘shameful’ and ‘wrong’ by activists to Tory MPs.

Greenpeace slammed the King’s Speech as a, “vehicle for Sunak to further his desperate pursuit of short-term political point scoring, at the expense of the public”.

Speaking on the protest last night, Joanna Warrington, spokesperson for Fossil Free London, blasted the government’s pursuit of new oil and gas and said protesters were there to send ‘a clear message’ to the wealthy.

“Sunak and his climate-wrecking Government are selling the UK public a dangerous pipedream,” said Warrington.

“They are falsely promising energy security through the expansion of new oil and gas, that if pursued would only spell utter climate disaster, and an insecure, warming world for all of us that live within it.

“Whilst Sunak dines with the Lord Mayor, bankers and business leaders at the heart of obscene wealth in this country; we are outside with a clear message. We want a livable future; and secure, affordable, renewable energy for all.”

Greta Thunberg has been active in the UK lately, causing a stir last month when she was arrested in London for taking action with climate activists at an oil summit protest, which caused outrage from leading human rights organisations.

Thunberg and several Greenpeace activists will appear for a plea hearing tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Westminster Magistrates Court, following their arrest in October and being charged.

(Image credit: Andrea Domeniconi/Fossil Free London)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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