Cannes Lions Festival interrupted by Greenpeace protesters

Rescue workers scaled the 82-foot roof of the Cannes Lions Festival’s iconic Palais in a desperate attempt to bring dozens of determined Greenpeace protesters back to the ground, as shocked spectators watched the chaotic scenes unfolding in front of them.

Activists from the environmental organization caused major disruptions to the event on Thursday in fierce protest against the advertising industry’s partnership with oil and gas giants.

Protesters made every effort for their biggest feat yet, storming the iconic Palais des Festivals – located in the heart of the festival – with signs that read: “Ban advertising of fossil fuels”.

The demonstration paralyzed the surrounding area as shocked spectators watched the organization block nearby roads for the stunt. No injuries were reported. It is unknown how long the feat dragged on.

Greenpeace activists climb a ladder to reach the roof of the Festival Palace during an action at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France, June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Greenpeace activists climb a ladder to reach the roof of the Festival Palace during their protest at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France, June 23, 2022.
REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Later, dozens of activists climbed an extendable ladder attached to a fire truck in a desperate attempt to reach the roof of the Palais.

Two protesters on the roof held up a large sign in reference to a popular meme, saying, “That’s fine.”

The climbers also hung a banner that read: “Fossil ads are burning the planet.”

Greenpeace activists hold a banner that reads "Fossil fuel ads are burning the planet" during action at Festival Palace during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France, June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Protesters were condemning the advertising industry for working with fossil fuel companies during their Cannes Lions Festival protest.
REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Back on the ground, activists called for a ban on fossil fuel advertising as they tried to attract the attention of top media executives in hopes they would sever ties with the fossil fuel industry.

“The fossil fuel industry uses advertising and sponsorship to clean up its image, delay climate action and ensure political access,” Greenpeace European Unit activist Silvia Pastorelli said in a statement.

“When we see glossy billboards of the latest electric cars, what we don’t see is an industry only interested in expanding and continuing to explore oil, to the very last drop, until we don’t have a planet to be creative on.”

A Greenpeace France activist and former Cannes Lions winner Gustav Martner organized a high-profile demonstration during the festival’s opening ceremony on Monday.

Protesting the industry’s frequent use of fossil fuels, he dramatically interrupted the opening ceremony to return an award he had previously won at the event.

While on stage, he unfolded a banner that read: “No prizes on a dead planet, ban fossil ads!”

The Post reached out to Greenpeace for further comment.

Last month, about 250 Greenpeace activists blocked the entrance to a building owned by TotalEnergies, where its annual meeting was held. The move resulted in many shareholders being unable to attend.

The blow came on the heels of another protest last month, where Ukrainian environmental activists gathered in the capital Kyiv to protest the European payment for Russian fossil fuels as part of the “#EndFossilsandWars!” campaign.

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