Demonstrators from the climate and environmental organization Extinction Rebellion’s youth group fastened themselves to railings in the Norwegian Parliament’s public gallery on Tuesday and disrupted the weekly question hour, when opposition politicians can challenge government ministers. They started shouting and even singing, and police had to physically remove them from the premises.
The demonstrators ignored all orders from the president to quiet down and even interrupted a Member of Parliament from the Socialist Left Party (SV), which also routinely criticizes the government’s climate and environmental policy. Calls for “ro i salen” (order in the room) were ignored. Extinction Rebellion’s spokesman said the demonstrators wanted to send a clear message to top Norwegian politicians that they’re jeopardizing the future for young people.
“The situation is now so desperate,” Vebjørn Bjelland Berg of Extinction Rebellion told state broadcaster NRK. “The young aren’t being listened to, scientists aren’t being listened to. We now have a majority (in Parliament) that still wants to search for more oil and gas in an escalating climate crisis, something all international commissions show is madness. The situation is so serious that we don’t have any other choice (than to demonstrate).”
Top Norwegian politicians were unimpressed, with the president of the Parliament calling the demonstration and disruption “sad” and the leader of the pro-oil Progress Party saying she hopes the demonstrators are heavily fined. “We saw once again that the climate mob lacks respect for democracy and takes time to scream and yell in the Parliament instead of working,” claimed Progress leader Sylvi Listhaug.
Norway, meanwhile, has been roundly criticized by the UN and several other international organizations for its ongoing oil and gas exploration, and likely won’t meet its climate goals.