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Climate activist interrupts live political debate in Geneva

Climate activist interrupts Swiss public debate on live television
Climate activist interrupts Swiss public debate on live television Copyright EBU/LÉMAN BLEU TV
Copyright EBU/LÉMAN BLEU TV
By Euronews with AP
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Tempers frayed on Sunday after a climate activist from the group Extinction Rebellion interrupted a live political debate in Switzerland.

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It was to the sounds of public disapproval that a climate activist from the Extinction Rebellion group stormed the set of the Léman Bleu channel and glued himself to the presenter's desk on Sunday.

The protest came as Geneva had just finished its second round of elections which would determine the makeup of the city's local council.

The Swiss channel, Léman Bleu, hosted a political debate with the electoral candidates under the highly touristic, and historic arcade near Geneva City Hall, with the public invited to look on.

The network’s editorial director and presenter, Jeremy Seydoux, was initially surprised by the stunt. He then scolded the activist, who was shouting even as the presenter tried to continue the program despite the disruption.

“No, no, sir, you’re not going to glue yourself to the set. I don’t believe it!” said Seydoux, wagging a finger at the activist as the crowd jeered and booed. “Oh-la-la! It’s a shame. It’s a shame, sir, you’re taking a democratic program hostage. ... I refuse to co-host this show with you.

You have strictly nothing to say, and I will now ask you to be evacuated,” he added, before sighing: “What an afternoon!”

A technician in a headset inspected the scene, but could not immediately figure out how to dislodge the activist, who proceeded to chat into the microphone of Switzerland’s public network, RTS.

Shortly afterwards, technicians equipped with solvent arrived to remove the man and escort him away — though he struggled a bit and sat down to slow the eviction. Police then moved in to help, and the crowd jeered more as he was taken away.

The stunt echoed recent protests by Germany’s Last Generation movement, whose climate activists have drawn attention for bringing traffic to a standstill by glueing themselves to the road.

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