Climate activists disrupt Locarno Film Festival

Two climate activists from the group Renovate Switzerland glued themselves to the stage during an awards ceremony at the Locarno Film Festival on Monday evening.

A video broadcast on social media showed the activists taking the stage to plead for greater climate action.

“We’re not happy to be here, but if we are here, it’s because we know what climate change means for us and for you and it’s fucking scary. We’re here because governments don’t take action to protect us, to protect millions of lives, animals and human lives,” said one activist in English in the video broadcast. Both applause and booing were heard in the audience.

In a statement, Renovate Switzerland said the two activists stepped on stage, interrupting the presentation of an award to French director and ecologist Luc Jacquet, known for films on the environment. After a few minutes the festival’s artistic director, Giona A. Nazzaro, handed them the microphone and said “we are here for the same cause”.

The ceremony took place before the screening of Jacquet’s film Journey to the South Pole, on the Piazza Grande in Locarno.

The Renovate Switzerland activists were escorted off the stage around 9:45pm and handed over to the Ticino cantonal police, the statement added.

Renovate has a core group of around 100 activists in Switzerland who engage in non-violent civil resistance. In April, the group made headlines when several activists glued themselves to the motorway in front of the north entrance to the Gotthard tunnel in an attempt to draw attention to the climate emergency.

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