London, Greta Thunberg on trial. The activist pleads not guilty

Greta Thunberg has pleaded not guilty in her trial in London. She, the environmental activist, is accused of a public order crime, for which she was arrested during a demonstration against the energy industry in central London on 17 October. The twenty-year-old activist, a symbol of the fight against climate change, was among the 26 people who were stopped during the protest in the British capital: four of these activists ended up on trial together with her.

The hearing and the reasons for the arrest

Upon arriving at Westminster Court, Greta was mobbed by photographers and TV crews and chatted smilingly with the other defendants as she waited for the hearing to begin. She spoke only when she was asked to confirm her name, age and address and to give her not guilty plea. The other four defendants who appeared alongside her also pleaded not guilty. All were granted unconditional bail until the actual trial begins, which the court announced will take place at the City of London Magistrates Court on February 1. Before his arrest, Thunberg had criticized “closed-door” deals between politicians and representatives of the oil and gas industry. London police said they had imposed “conditions to avoid public inconvenience” during the protest outside the Energy Intelligence Forum, which were then breached, resulting in the arrests. Greta had been loaded into a police van. She recently came under fire for wearing a black and white Palestinian scarf and calling for a “ceasefire now” during a climate protest in Amsterdam. Thunberg, who started the so-called “School Strike for Climate” movement as a teenager, was fined by a Swedish court in October. The arrest came after he was convicted of resisting a public official during a protest in July, which had caused a road block.