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Activists spray red paint over billionaire Walmart heiress’s superyacht for a second time

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CNN
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Spanish climate activists sprayed red paint across a superyacht owned by billionaire Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie in Barcelona on Friday, the second time the yacht has been the target of protests in the past two months.

Two activists from the climate groups Scientist Rebellion and Extinction Rebellion accessed Marina Port Vell, a dock for superyachts, at 7 a.m. local time on Friday, according to a spokesperson for the organization.

They sprayed biodegradable red paint onto the superyacht before unfurling a banner reading: “Billionaires should not exist.”

“At the end of another exceptional summer in terms of record temperatures and extreme weather events, the richest 1% of people on the planet continue to pollute more than the poorest 50%. Mega-yachts are one of the most obvious examples of a lifestyle that is unsustainable for the planet,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Marina Port Vell said that the boat had not been damaged in Friday’s action.

“After a quick action on behalf of the security team, the incident has been corrected and the boat is now in a perfect state,” the spokesperson told CNN.

The activists were detained by police at the marina for three hours before being released, according to a spokesperson for Scientist Rebellion. CNN has contacted the Port Police for comment.

Laurie’s yacht was also targeted in Ibiza in July. Activists from the environmental group Futuro Vegetal sprayed the yacht with red and black paint and held up a banner reading: “You Consume Others Suffer.”

The luxuries enjoyed by the world’s wealthiest people – from superyachts to private jets – are increasingly the focus of climate protests because of their heavy climate impact.

Extinction Rebellion has pledged to target the super wealthy, saying they want to make it clear that “the rich and their leisure activities that waste essential resources are a luxury that we cannot afford.”

America’s wealthiest people are some of the world’s biggest polluters, according to a recent report, which found that America’s richest 10% are responsible for almost half of the country’s planet-heating pollution.

The Barcelona protest comes the same week as scientists revealed this summer was the planet’s hottest on record by a significant margin.

Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service which produced the data, said the world should expect these records to be broken again and again.

“The scientific evidence is overwhelming – we will continue to see more climate records and more intense and frequent extreme weather events impacting society and ecosystems, until we stop emitting greenhouse gases,” she said in a statement.

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