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Greenpeace climate activists refused bail in India, as Al Gore and IPCC win Nobel Peace Prize for raising global climate awareness


Six Indian Greenpeace volunteers are spending the weekend in jail after being refused bail after a protest at a coal-fired power plant outside of Kolkata. The ruling came on the same day that Al Gore and the IPCC jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize for increasing international knowledge of, and action on climate change.
The six volunteers were arrested on Thursday, 11 October, after scaling the chimney of the Kolaghat power plant and painting the slogan “Smoking Kills”. They have been charged with criminal trespass and violation of the West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order Act of 1972. The West Bengal district court today denied bail requests from the activists’ who have been remanded in a correctional jail. The climbers return to court on Monday.

“The ‘Climate 6’ must be released immediately,” said Vinuta Gopal, climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace India. “It is climate change that needs to be arrested, not those who are trying to stop it.”

“Al Gore, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has urged the world to take action against coal, the world’s number one climate killer,” said Gopal. “This is precisely what our volunteers were doing.”

After his film, An Inconvenient Truth, raised international awareness of climate change, Al Gore was quoted, in August 2007: “I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.”

Greenpeace’s flagship, the Rainbow Warrior arrived in Calcutta today bearing the message “Arrest Climate Change: Free the Climate 6.”

The Rainbow Warrior is conducting a climate change awareness tour around India in the run-up to crucial UN climate negotiations in Bali, this December. At the Bali conference, governments from around the world will meet to discuss extending the Kyoto Protocol’s legally-binding limits on greenhouse pollution.


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