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YOUTH climate activists occupied the Science Museum overnight today to protest against its sponsorship deals with oil and gas companies BP, Equinor and Shell.
The group of 30 young campaigners, scientists and campaigners left their protest outside the museum in the morning after occupying the building for 12 hours.
The occupation, organised by UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) London, saw museum security confiscate the activists’ sleeping bags, foil blankets and leaflets as they entered the building.
The group refused to leave after the museum closed on Tuesday and negotiated to remain overnight.
A simultaneous vigil took place outside the museum to remember the victims of the climate crisis.
Seventeen-year-old UKSCN member Izzy, who participated in the occupation, said that the museum has consistently refused to engage with other tactics, including petitions, letters, boycotts and protests.
She said: “The Science Museum’s director [Ian Blatchford] is failing to do his job by sacrificing the museum’s reputation and credibility for his own admiration of fossil fuel companies.
“He repeatedly emphasises the importance of engaging with the oil and coal industry while the legitimate concerns of young people, scientists and impacted communities have been ignored, diminished and sidelined.
“The director of a publicly funded museum shouldn’t be defending the coal industry and the Science Museum shouldn’t belong to the corporations causing the climate crisis.
“It is time for young people and scientists to reclaim this space from its destructive sponsors.”
A spokesperson for the museum said: “While dealing professionally and calmly with a small group of protesters, our team’s focus remains on the tens of thousands of people heading for an inspiring half-term day out at the Science Museum, where visitors can explore two exhibitions addressing aspects of climate change, the most urgent challenge facing humanity.”
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