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Greenpeace activists detained after energy conference protest

December 04, 2013, 15:11 UTC+3 PARIS
Protesting against planned Arctic drilling by one of the event's main sponsors, Russian state energy giant Gazprom, environmental campaigners poured piles of snow
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© EPA/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

PARIS, December 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Eight Greenpeace activists were taken into custody on Tuesday after an elaborate protest at a Geneva energy conference where polar bears waded in oil-soaked snow and oil-spill cocktails were served to conference participants, French news agency AFP reported.

Protesting against planned Arctic drilling by one of the event's main sponsors, Russian state energy giant Gazprom, environmental campaigners poured piles of snow outside the luxury Geneva hotel hosting the event and drizzled oil from barrels carrying the Russian company's logo.

Dressed as polar bears, protesters rolled around in the mess as others unfurled a massive banner with protest slogans from the roof of the President Wilson hotel.

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Some activists infiltrated the conference hall and dressed as waiters, served cocktails with small white bears symbolically bobbing in the thick, dark liquid.

Observers compared this action to the latest incident on a Gazprom oil rig in the Arctic, chosen by Greenpeace as a protest target.

On September 18, the campaign group's ship Arctic Sunrise reached the Prirazlomnaya oil drilling installation in the Barents Sea, where activists tried to board.

They were seized by Russian security forces and their vessel towed to the port of Murmansk. Thirty crewmembers — nationals of 19 countries, including four Russians, — were detained.

After two months in a Russian jail facing charges of piracy, later reduced to hooliganism, they were granted bail last month.

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