Skip to main content

Six protesting Shell by climbing London's Shard arrested, police say

By Saskya Vandoorne, CNN
July 12, 2013 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
Six women are attempting to climb The Shard in London as a protest against Shell's Arctic drilling plans.
Six women are attempting to climb The Shard in London as a protest against Shell's Arctic drilling plans.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • London authorities: Six women who attempted climb arrested
  • The women from Greenpeace said they dodged security guards
  • Plan was "to hang a huge work of art that captures the beauty" of the Arctic
  • Greenpeace campaign aims to turn the area around the North Pole into a global sanctuary

London (CNN) -- Six women who climbed one of Europe's tallest buildings Thursday in an effort to rally against Shell's Arctic drilling plan have been arrested, according to London's Metropolitan Police.

They were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and taken into custody, according to the police.

The women from the environmental group Greenpeace said they dodged security guards around The Shard and, once on top, they planned "to hang a huge work of art that captures the beauty" of the Arctic.

It is believed the group first climbed onto the roof of London Bridge Station before accessing the outside of The Shard, the police said.

'The View from The Shard' in London opens
Time-lapse: The Shard built in 1 minute
London's newest landmark: The Shard

Earlier Greenpeace issued a statement about the climbers.

"They expect the grueling project to take most of the day," it read. "The lead climbers are 'free climbing' (scaling the building without assistance) but are fixing safety ropes as they progress. They are carrying the huge work of art in backpacks and will install it this afternoon if they reach the summit. "

The six started their climb of the 1,016-foot-tall skyscraper at dawn and were live streaming the climb.

They opted to climb The Shard because it towers over the oil giant's global headquarters on the South Bank of the Thames, according to the statement .

"Shell is leading the oil companies' drive into the Arctic, investing billions in its Alaskan and Russian drilling programs," it said. "A worldwide movement of millions has sprung up to stop them, but Shell is refusing to abandon its plans."

The climbers are from the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, Poland, Holland and Belgium.

The Shard released a statement saying it is working with authorities to ensure the climbers' safety, reading, "Our primary focus is on the safety of the protesters, and of the workers and visitors to our building, which remains open today."

Greenpeace's environmental campaign aims to turn the area around the North Pole into a global sanctuary unavailable to industrialization.

Shell defended its Arctic drilling.

"Oil and gas production from the Arctic is not new," it said in a statement. "The Arctic region currently produces about 10% of the world's oil and 25% of its gas. If responsibly developed, Arctic energy resources can help offset supply constraints and maintain energy security for consumers throughout the world."

Regarding the protest, the oil giant said it respects the freedom of expression.

"We only ask that they do so with their safety and the safety of others, including Shell personnel and customers in mind," Shell said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT