Burnaby woman scales EU's tallest building in Greenpeace protest
CTV British Columbia
Published Sunday, July 14, 2013 8:00PM PDT
Last Updated Sunday, July 14, 2013 8:01PM PDT
A Burnaby woman who spent a night in a London jail after scaling Western Europe’s tallest building is hoping the stunt will have an environmental impact, she says.
Victoria Henry, 31, said she embarked on a 15-hour vertical journey up London’s “The Shard” with a group of Greenpeace protestors to denounce oil giant Shell’s drilling programs in the Arctic.
“We climbed on the roof of the building using a series of ladders and drawbridges, attached ourselves to the bottom of the Shard, and over the next 15 gruelling hours, we made it to the top,” Henry said, from London.
The group’s goal upon reaching the summit of the 72-storey skyscraper? To unfurl a banner that read “Save the Arctic,” where it could clearly be seen by Shell’s London head office nearby.
“We knew by choosing this huge iconic building that there could be no way they could ignore this message,” she said.
It’s just the latest stunt pulled by the environmental group to gain attention. Last year in Russia, a Greenpeace group scaled and then occupied an Arctic rig.
“This is sort of a shop window, something everyone can look at and understand easily, and we're absolutely there to gather publicity,” she said. “You have to keep upping the agenda, doing something more extravagant to get the media to focus on you…if you can’t do that you fall by the wayside.”
The group’s antics attracted plenty of attention from onlookers on the street – including law enforcement officials.
When they finally descended, group members were charged with trespassing and held in a London jail for 20 hours before Greenpeace bailed them out.
Despite that, the group is already planning its next extreme stunt, which promises to be bigger, better and more outrageous, she says.
“We are keeping it a secret until then but there are some huge things coming up you definitely don’t want to miss.”
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Scott Roberts