Video: Climate Protesters Attempting to Block Oil Meeting Sent Scrambling When Police Step In


French police threw a security cordon around a shareholders’ meeting in Paris of oil major TotalEnergies on Friday, spraying tear gas and pushing back climate protesters who chanted, “Be gentle, police officers, we’re doing this for your kids!”

Shareholders, some escorted into the meeting by police, ran a gauntlet of the  demonstrators, who waved signs attacking the climate record of the French energy giant that has reaped colossal profits from price surges that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Their signs declared, “The last pipeline before the end of the world” and “Listen to the scientists: No more fossil projects.”

Protesters sat down in surrounding streets and linked arms to block access to the meeting in a famed Paris concert hall.

Police officers carried some protesters to move them out of the way. They sprayed tear gas from canisters to force people back.

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It comes after climate protesters tried to rush the stage of the Shell shareholder meeting in London on Tuesday, with security guards dragging and carrying them away.

Dozens of activists also forced the delay of the start of the meeting by chanting “Shut down Shell,” while others shouted, held signs and linked arms outside as security tried to remove them.

Was this a good response from the police?

The tactics come as demonstrators contest the burning of coal, oil, natural gas and biomass blamed for air pollution that some researchers claim kills up to 1.2 million people worldwide per year and is causing weather extremes, hunger, heat deaths, migration and environmental destruction.

The United Nations chief has pleaded for an end to new fossil fuel exploration and for rich countries to quit coal, oil and gas by 2040.

Citing the protests, TotalEnergies had told shareholders beforehand that they could vote remotely.

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Protesters came hours before the meeting, as dawn was breaking, to try to stop it from going ahead.

The standoff with police evolved from there.

“We have no choice but to be here every single time they are here,” demonstrator Camille Etienne said.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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