GENEVA (AP) — An environmental activist stormed the set of a Swiss television debate and glued himself to a podium while live on air, only to be extracted, heels dragging, a few minutes later.
Local station Leman Bleu had erected the red-carpet set in a historic arcade much frequented by tourists, near Geneva City Hall, with the public and passers-by invited to look on.
The man who ran onto the set wore a T-shirt with the words for “Act Together” in French and the logo of the Extinction Rebellion activist group written on the back.
The episode took place Sunday as the TV station was hosting a discussion among candidates around a second, decisive round of local elections.
The network’s editorial director and presenter, Jeremy Seydoux, was initially surprised by the stunt, seeming to recoil. He then scolded the activist, who was wearing a beard and ponytail, even as the presenter tried to continued 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 afterward, 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 gluing themselves to the road.