At least 102 climate activists from seventeen countries representing Greenpeace, Stay Grounded, Extinction Rebellion, Scientist Rebellion and other climate justice groups are still being detained in Geneva, Switzerland 20 hours after a peaceful protest against Europe’s largest annual private jet fair, the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva.
“A unique, European coalition of courageous activists from 17 countries severely disrupted the excessive champagne party of a super-rich elite – Europe’s largest private jet sales event. Their demand is unequivocal, private aviation should be consigned to the history books. We support the activists and demand their immediate release.” – said Klara Maria Schenk, a transport expert for the European Mobility For All campaign.
Activists peacefully occupied jets exhibited at the business event by the Geneva airport and chained themselves to aircraft gangways in order to keep prospective buyers from entering. The protestors held giant tobacco-style health warning label hand banners marking the jets as toxic objects and warning that ‘Private Jets Burn Our Future’, ‘Kill Our Planet’, and ‘Fuel Inequality’. Public service announcements from loudspeakers carried by the activists exposed the devastating consequences of private jets for our planet and revealed the hypocrisy of promoting private jets amidst rising social inequality.
Contrary to several misleading media reports, the activists never entered the taxiways or runways of the airport. The activists make it clear that at no time they intended to disrupt commercial air traffic at Geneva Airport. A spokeswoman for air traffic control agency Skyguide confirmed protestors had not accessed the runway during the incident, according to Aviation International News.