Extinction Rebellion protestors target Science Museum

Extinction Rebellion protestors clash with police as they blockade road in London protest targeting Science Museum over Shell sponsorship

  • Our Future Planet exhibition explores the technologies being developed which could help save the planet
  • But fact that it is part-funded by Shell has enraged environmentalists, including teen activist Greta Thunberg
  • Hundreds gathered outside Science Museum today playing drums, blowing whistles and even meditating 
  • Kensington and Chelsea Police said the A4 Cromwell Road is being blockaded by a group of protestors

Environmental activists have clashed with police while blocking off a road in the centre of London Sunday following a protest at the Science Museum. 

Kensington and Chelsea Police said the A4 Cromwell Road is being blockaded by a group of protestors and that traffic disruption is now expected, adding: ‘Officers are on the scene and engaging with the group. Please avoid where you can.’

Hundreds of climate activists had gathered outside the Science Museum to protest against an exhibition because it was part-funded by an oil giant. 

Extinction Rebellion and at least 200 supporters were seen erecting a 12ft model dodo – a bird which went extinct in the 1660s – while playing drums, blowing whistles and meditating outside the historic building in South Kensington. 

The Our Future Planet exhibition explores the technologies being developed which could help save the planet by removing carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere. 

But the fact that it is part-funded by Shell has enraged environmentalists, who were seen today waving flags and banners while chanting: ‘No more petrol, no more diesel, funding fossil fuels is evil.’   

Police officers engaged with protestors in South Kensington as they blockaded the A4 road near the Science Museum on Sunday

Kensington and Chelsea Police said the A4 Cromwell Road is being blockaded by a group of protestors and that traffic disruption is now expected, adding: ‘Please avoid where you can.’

Police stand next to an obstruction on the A4 outside the Natural History Museum

Police inspect a lorry parked across a junction by demonstrators on the A4 outside the Natural History Museum 

Police said they were ‘on the scene and engaging’ with protestors blocking the A4 road (Pictured: Lorry parked by demonstrators across a junction)

Extinction Rebellion and at least 200 supporters were seen erecting a 12ft model dodo – a bird which went extinct in the 1660s – while playing drums, blowing whistles and meditating outside the historic building in South Kensington.

Protestor pours ‘oil’ onto fellow activist in protest of the science museum’s exhibition being funded by Shell 

Protestors hold up a sign reading ‘No future in fossil fuel’ outside the Science Museum in London

The group have support from teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who criticised the Shell sponsorship after previous reports suggested the museum had signed a gagging clause to secure funding.  

A group called Silent Rebellion sat outside in silence and appeared to meditate near the entrance to the museum.   

Dr Charlie Gardner, an associate senior lecturer in conservation science at the University of Kent, and a member of Scientists for Extinction Rebellion, said: ‘Shell, an oil company, is a major driver of the climate emergency.

‘We find it unacceptable that a scientific institution, a great cultural institution such as the Science Museum, should be taking money, dirty money, from an oil company.

‘Oil companies have invested heavily over the last three decades in undermining public confidence in science and it’s the reason why there are still, to this day, people that doubt or deny the existence of climate change.

‘Oil companies have an anti-science agenda and yet the Science Museum is taking their money.

‘The fact that Shell are able to sponsor this exhibition allows them to paint themselves as part of the solution to climate change, whereas they are, of course, at the heart of the problem.’

The pink dodo used in today’s protest at the Science Museum while (right) a protestor dons a ‘Shmell’ suit – designed to mock the Shell oil company 

Dozens of protestors blockade the A4 near the Science Museum in protest over its latest exhibition funded by an oil giant 

A woman has black ‘oil’ poured all over her by a fellow activist posing as a British Petroleum worker

Protestors carry a banner reading: ‘Fossil fuels no’ as they march in protest over an exhibition being held at the Science Museum

‘For the love of our planet’: Reads one protestors sign as he marched alongside climate activists in London Sunday 

A woman holds up a flare as she marches alongside climate activists waving ‘Unify’ flags in London on Sunday 

Hayley Pinto, an addiction psychiatrist from Norfolk, and a member of a group of doctors supporting Extinction Rebellion, said: ‘The Science Museum is somewhere I used to bring my kids when they were little.

‘Meanwhile we’ve got Shell, a company who’s investing only a tiny percentage – far less than they said would – of their money in renewable energy whilst getting on with business as usual.

‘It’s destroying the future for our children. The impact on children already in terms of their health and climate change is huge.’

A Shell spokesperson said: ‘Shell and the Science Museum have a long-standing relationship based on a shared interest in promoting engagement in science, which will be a key enabler in addressing the challenge to provide more and cleaner energy solutions.

‘At Shell our target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society.

‘As Shell works with our customers to identify the best paths to decarbonisation, we seek to avoid, reduce and only then mitigate any remaining emissions.

‘Developing carbon capture and storage and using natural sinks are two of a range of ways of decarbonising energy.’

A spokesperson for the museum said: ‘Throughout the day our team has facilitated a peaceful protest at the Science Museum, ensuring the health and safety of everyone in the building while enabling thousands of people to enjoy their visit to the museum.’

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