2 police hurt, 143 people held in Vienna gas talks protest

AP , Monday 27 Mar 2023

Two police officers were injured Monday in scuffles that broke out when protesters tried to break through a police cordon during a demonstration against a meeting of oil and gas companies in Vienna.

Protest in Vienna
Policemen carry away a demonstrator during a protest on March 27, 2023 in Vienna, Austria, as the Austrian capital hosts the European Gas Conference running from March 27 to 29, 2023. - The conference aims at promoting the dialogue between Europe and its main suppliers . Demonstrators demand an end to the fossil exploitation being planned behind closed doors at the EGC and call for comprehensive changes in order to create a just energy system . AFP


Police detained 143 people and resorted to using pepper spray to break up the demonstration.

Public broadcaster ORF reported that some protesters had tried to block roads leading to the hotel where the three-day European Gas Conference is being held.

Environmental activists have criticized the conference participants for pursuing further natural gas projects amid strong demand and high prices due to the war in Ukraine.

Jasmin Duregger of the group Greenpeace accused gas companies of promoting their business at the expense of the climate “under the cover of energy security.”

Activists hope to mobile for a large protest Tuesday against the conference, which is sponsored by Austrian energy giant OMV.

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