Shell paused London AGM as protesters shouted ‘We will stop you’.

Three people have been arrested after Shell was forced to halt its annual meeting in London after it was interrupted by environmental protesters shouting “we will stop you”.

About 40 climate protesters at the event, shareholders said to the oil and gas company board: “We will expose you. We know who you are. We know what you’ve done. We will remember.”

They repeatedly shouted “the shell must crumble” and “shame on you” to executives gathered in Westminster’s Methodist Concourse, accusing the board of “spending more money on green advertising than on green technology” I did.

Shell Chairman Sir Andrew Mackenzie grew increasingly annoyed at the request to be quiet, and the meeting continued to be interrupted, requiring an official pause after 40 minutes.

One shareholder said to the protesters, “Out! outside! Out!” And the other made a rude gesture to them.

Police arrived at the rally and watched the protests that lasted more than an hour.

One protester said, “Where is your dignity? Why are you sitting there and laughing? You cannot fire us.” One attendee answered angrily. “You infiltrated this meeting. President, please answer.” The protester replied, “They gave us the answer and it’s always been greenwash.”

Mackenzie asked non-protesting shareholders to go to another room for lunch in the main auditorium, which was filled with activists who had been clinging to their seats. One shareholder yelled at them, “Shut up,” as he left the room.

Another protester put up a banner reading, “Shell benefits from Earth Hell.” Police asked Shell staff and the board to leave, and the room was successfully cleaned up after 90 minutes.

A woman, who was evicted from the building by police, was later found handcuffed and lying on the ground crying. Metropolitan Police said she suffered minor knee injuries from her fall and that she was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Three people were arrested outside the auditorium, two on attempted crime and one on crime victim, police said.

Protesters outside Shell AGM at Westminster Central Hall
Protesters protest outside Shell AGM in Westminster on Tuesday. PHOTOGRAPH BY STEPHAN RUSSO/PA

Investors should vote at an event on Shell’s climate change proposal. Investor Royal London said it would abstain from voting on the company’s climate change proposal.

The Dutch activist group Follow This hopes the company’s policies will be more aligned with the Paris climate agreement. Shell’s board has told investors it will reject the group’s resolution that requires investors to set stricter climate targets.

Protests took place outside Central Hall all morning as climate activists shouted slogans, gave speeches and rebuked Shell shareholders for arriving for AGM.

Protesters protest near Shell AGM in Westminster Central Hall.
Protesters protest near Shell AGM in Westminster Central Hall. PHOTOGRAPH BY STEPHAN RUSSO/PA

Protesters lined up on the way to shareholders on their way to the main gate. “Vote today.” One shouted.

Stop Cambo activist Lauren MacDonald, who last year successfully campaigned for Shell to withdraw from a new oilfield development in the North Sea, challenged investors passing by in front of the crowd and shouted “shame” from the crowd. Some investors attempted a counterattack, but were drowned.

Protesters said they had also asked the government to prevent companies like Shell from being established in the UK, even from Caroline Lucas, the only green member of Parliament in the UK.

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She told The Guardian: But they are not listening and are planning more oil and gas licenses. Even more unusually, more coal is planned. This is why this action outside of AGM is so important. We have to use every mechanism we have available.”

Chelmsford Methodist circuit superintendent Mark Pengelly criticized the church for saying it voted to withdraw from its oil and gas business last year for allowing Shell’s AGM to run at its headquarters.

He said, “I am ashamed and saddened that our church is the backdrop for this plenary session today,” he said.

A Shell spokesperson said: “We respect everyone’s right to express their views and welcome all participation in our strategy and constructive energy transition. But in AGM, this kind of confusion is the opposite of constructive engagement.

“We agree that society must act urgently on climate change. Shell has a clear goal of being a net zero-emissions company by 2050.”

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