Portuguese climate activists block entrance to ministerial meeting

Portuguese climate activists block entrance to ministerial meeting

Activists say it is “unacceptable” that politicians aren’t discussing climate change

By Alyssa McMurtry

OVIEDO, Spain (AA) - A group of Portuguese climate activists blocked a ministerial meeting Thursday morning in the Lisbon metropolitan area, urging for action on climate crisis.

Around 20 activists glued themselves to all the gates of the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere, where the meeting was set to take place, blocking off all entrances.

Many of the climate activists wore iron bars on their arms, which they later glued together, to make it harder to pry them from the openings. A large sign saying “the last winter of gas” was also posted on the main entrance.

The protest is attributed to the Portuguese chapter of the climate movement Fridays For Future. Its spokesperson Beatriz Xavier told Portuguese news agency Lusa that they did not want to be there, but felt they had no choice but to act.

“It's unacceptable for governments not to place the climate crisis at the heart of discussions. Humanity has experienced the hottest months ever, and it's going to intensify,” she said. “We knew this when we started the first protests in 2019.”

At least an hour after the meeting was scheduled, the ministerial meeting still had not begun. Portuguese broadcaster SIC reported that it may be moved to another location.

Police were eventually deployed and authorities arrested at least four activists, according to Lusa.

“They are suppressing us once more …We will find out which police station they're at, and we'll protest outside,” Xavier told Lusa, adding that the climate is at a tipping point and warning that the group will continue with their actions.

Starting this Friday, Fridays For Future is planning a global climate strike, with large protests planned in dozens of cities and disruptions are expected.

“We’re resisting the development of new pipelines and the expansion of extractivist practices that cost so many lives. We’re confronting false solutions powered by green capitalism. We’re challenging the continuation of business as usual. We’re fighting to end the era of fossil fuels,” said the organization, founded by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, in a statement.

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