Greenpeace activists scale London’s Shard tower

One of six Greenpeace protesters Thursday  reached  the top of The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, during a protest against the oil company Shell's drilling in the Arctic.
  • Shard is western Europe%27s tallest building.
  • Six women were protesting drilling in the Arctic.
  • Climbers are from Britain%2C Canada%2C Sweden%2C Poland%2C the Netherlands and Belgium.
  • LONDON — Six women from the environmental group Greenpeace were arrested Thursday evening after climbing the tallest building in western Europe to protest oil drilling in the Arctic.

    The activists, from Britain, Canada, Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands and Belgium., Took 15 hours to reach the top of the 1,017-foot Shard tower on the south bank of the River Thames. Hundreds of onlookers watched from the street.

    Greenpeace said the Renzo Piano-designed, 72-story glass skyscraper was chosen because it looms over the London offices of Royal Dutch Shell, which is planning major oil-and-gas drilling in the Arctic. The Qatari-owned tower, a pyramid resembling jagged glass or ice at its peak, opened in February.

    Scotland Yard said the six were arrested for suspicion of aggravated trespass after they reached the roof about 7 p.M. (2 p.M. ET). The activists hung a “Save the Arctic” banner, but they did not unfurl a giant polar bear down the side of the tower because the climb took several hours longer than expected.

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    One climber spoke by cellphone to the Guardian newspaper when the group was about two-thirds of the way up.

    “We are all exhausted because we are carrying a lot of weight and have been going since early this morning, but it is going really well,” said 32-year-old Victoria Henry. “It seems that our message about what is happening in the Arctic is really getting out there, which is great.”.

    In a statement, Shell said: “We respect the right of individuals and organizations to engage in a free and frank exchange of views about our operations.” It added, “If responsibly developed, Arctic energy resources can help offset supply constraints and maintain energy security for consumers throughout the world.”.

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