Three people were arrested after climate protesters disrupted oil giant Shell’s annual shareholder meeting.
Police were called after Shell chairman Sir Andrew Mackenzie was forced to pause the meeting at Central Hall in Westminster for two hours after repeatedly being interrupted by members of the audience, some who had glued themselves to chairs.
They sang “We will, we will stop you” to the tune of the Queen song We Will Rock You as Sir Andrew looked on in silence before asking police to clear the room.
One woman who was led out of the building by police was later seen handcuffed on the ground and crying.
The protesters accused the oil company of profiting from carbon-emitting products that contribute to climate change.
“Shell must fall,” the demonstrators repeatedly chanted during the meeting.
After some time, the chairman said: “OK, thank you. I would like to carry on with the meeting if I may”, but was prevented from doing so by the protesters.
“That was an interesting start to our annual general meeting. I have listened to you for 15 minutes, could you…” he added before being interrupted again.
“I do not want to get to this, but if necessary I will ask you to leave the meeting so we can continue with the annual general meeting,” Sir Andrew said.
A little later, he said: “I regret this deeply, but, because you refuse to stop, I have now asked for the police to come and allow us to restore order as part of this annual general meeting.”
The meeting was paused after around half an hour.
The protesters came from several different groups, including Money Rebellion, Extinction Rebellion, Christian Climate Action, Fossil Free London, Shell Must Fall and Stop Ecocide.
They claimed that around 80 demonstrators were in the meeting hall.
Hundreds of protesters also gathered outside the building, holding signs and chanting in the rain.
Lauren MacDonald, a 21-year-old climate activist, said: “I am here alongside many others to call out Shell’s role in climate violence. We simply cannot let Shell go ahead with any more fossil fuel projects.
“Last year, the International Energy Agency told us that if we are to have any shot of a safe, liveable future, there must be no new investments into oil and gas, but Shell is currently trying to push through the Jackdaw gas field. This is a horrible climate-wrecking project.”
She added: “I’m 21 years old and I’m being told that, by the year 2030, we could be seeing significant global food shortages. By that year, I will be 30 years old. I will not allow Shell to take another minute of my life than they already have.”
Riz Choudhry, 40, who represents several groups including Extinction Rebellion, told PA: “We’re here protesting against one of the largest fossil fuel criminals – Shell.
“They’re having their annual general meeting in there, so we’re here to bring awareness to the brutality that they’re doing.
“Our biggest aim is to make people aware of the biggest criminals inside there and the corruption that goes on and the impact they have on our planet. They’re making the world an unsafe place for us to live in.”