Thousands block London roads to demand action on climate change

Nellie Chapman
April 16, 2019

Extinction Rebellion (XR), an environmentalist group responsible for causing scenes in the House of Commons earlier this month when semi-naked activists stripped off in Parliament as MPs tried to debate Brexit, claim they intend to occupy the roads for at least 72 hours.

Other stunts perpetrated by the demonstrators on Monday included gluing themselves to the revolving front door of the Shell Centre building as well as smearing black paint on the building.

Parliament Square, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and Piccadilly Circus were also targeted - with Waterloo Bridge seeing the addition of a skater's half-pipe and trees.

Police have arrested more than 100 environmental protesters overnight as the climate demonstrations that brought chaos to central London enters its second day.

The blockades continued throughout the day but as darkness fell officers moved in and began to arrest people on Waterloo Bridge in an effort to clear it.

Extinction Rebellion have organised a nationwide week of action, they are calling for a full-scale Rebellion to demand decisive action from governments on climate change and ecological collapse.

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"They will be blocking five of the city's busiest and most iconic locations in a non-violent, peaceful act of rebellion where they invite people to join them for several days of creative, artist-led resistance". "In the majority world, indigenous communities are now on the brink of extinction".

Anna Burton, from Lancashire in northwest England, said she came to the protest to call on big businesses to go carbon neutral and demand a better ecological future for her children. "We must act now".

Police have advised Londoners to leave extra time for their journeys because of possible delays caused by the protest.

The busy Thames crossing was closed to traffic in both directions this morning, Transport for London (TfL) said.

Thousands of environmental protesters will converge on London today in a bid to "shut down" the capital and force the government's hand on climate change.

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