Tuesday, July 5

Fernando Prieto, arrested for the scientific protest: “They should dedicate themselves more to reducing gas emissions than to us”

Fernando Prieto is a doctor in Ecology and on April 6th he participated in the protest of scientists against political inaction when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. “Today’s inaction, tomorrow’s blood”, they cried on that day at the gates of the Congress of Deputies in what they called Scientific Rebellion. They used a mixture of water and beetroot to stain the facade of the Carrera de San Jerónimo building in Madrid.

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Prieto, who coordinates the Sustainability Observatory, received a call on Tuesday that ordered him to go to a police station 24 hours later to declare himself detained for these actions more than two months ago. In total, 14 people have passed through police stations this Wednesday in Madrid, Almería, Granada, Ibiza and Gijón. They have all come out with charges and “waiting for the court to call us and go to trial,” summarizes Prieto in a quick conversation with elDiario.es hours after leaving the police station.

Did you voluntarily report to the police?

They called us yesterday [por el martes] to tell us that we had an appointment the next day. A policeman told me that he was summoned and that if he did not come they would come to arrest me. So I went there with the other five people from Madrid.

You have appeared as detainees.

Exactly. They haven’t shackled us, but yes.

And once at the police station, what happened?

We have been there three and a half hours. They have taken all the photographs of us that you see when someone is arrested: from the front, from the side, from the side. They have taken the fingerprints of all our fingers…

What are you accused of?

Of damages and a crime against the institutions of the State. We have been informed that the protest has cost 3,300 euros for the painting that fell on the wall of the Congress. They assure that since the façade has some limestone, it has cost more to clean it since most of it is made of granite and it is easier there. That’s what we’ve been told.

What do you mean by institutions?

They claim that a parliamentary session was altered that day, when it could be seen that there was none of that. Some deputies even came out to support us, such as Juantxo López de Uralde from Alianza Verde and Íñigo Errejón from Más País. But hey, we’ve been told that someone in Congress credits that…

What situation have you been in?

For the time being released with charges. We do not know if they will arrest more people. I imagine that we will have to go to court and then a trial.

Did you expect it after more than two months after the protest?

The truth is, no. It seems that they should be more concerned and dedicate more to reducing gas emissions and adapting the country to climate change than us. And more so when we are aware of the consequences such as this heat wave that we are going through.


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