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Science museum bars public entry to fossil-fuel sponsored gallery after pressure from protesters

THE Science Museum was forced to ban the public from entering a climate gallery sponsored by a fossil fuel and arms company on Saturday, following pressure from activists. 

The day before, over 30 protesters led by Youth Action for Climate Justice and Scientists for Extinction Rebellion, occupied the new “Energy Revolution” gallery, which is funded by a so-called green energy subsidiary of coalmining conglomerate Adani.

The protesters planned to invite members of the public to join them for an interactive assembly inside the gallery where they would uncover the truth about the firm, which is the largest private developer of new coalmines and coal-fired power plants.

But Dr Aaron Thierry, one of the scientists at the protest, said: “We are peacefully here to make our point and interact with the visiting public and have been prevented from doing so.”

Anya, one of the young people occupying the gallery, said: “We had hoped to have a dialogue with visitors to the gallery about alternative sponsorship options for the museum in an open and peaceful way. 

“It is disappointing that the museum is afraid to allow this opportunity for learning. 

“We’re here today with scientists who are able to talk about the key issue of our time and critically engage with the exhibits around us.”

Naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham said the exhibition was “beyond greenwash” and “grotesque.”

Despite not being publicly announced, the gallery opened with a VIP launch last month, with activists protesting outside the event.

To coincide with this weekend’s action, activists released a video highlighting Adani’s role in environmental crimes.

These include breaching environmental conditions by clearing wildlife habitat on the site of its Carmichael coal project in Australia, manufacturing drones and weapons for the Israel Defence Force with Elbit Systems, and violating environmental laws and contaminating soil and water at its Udupi nuclear plant in India. 

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