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Nearly 300 arrests in London climate change protests

Thousands of people joined the protests across the city.

Updated Apr 16th 2019, 6:28 PM

Source: PA Wire/PA Images

MORE THAN 200 people have been arrested by police in London amid climate change protests that brought parts of the city to a standstill. 

Thousands of people joined the protests and campaigners from the Extinction Rebellion group parked a pink boat at Oxford Circus and blocked a number of roads.

Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

They laid trees along the length of Waterloo Bridge and set up camps in Hyde Park in preparation for further demonstrations throughout the week.

Activists also vandalised the Shell headquarters.

Metropolitan Police have said that 290 people have now been arrested, the majority of which were for breach of public order and obstruction of the highway. All of those arrested are aged 18 or over.

“We expect demonstrations to continue throughout the coming weeks,” a police statement said.

Among those arrested were five people detained outside the Shell headquarters – three men and two women – on suspicion of criminal damage. They were taken to a central London police station.

Extinction Rebellion said its activists at the Shell building glued themselves to windows, smashed glass of the revolving doors and sprayed slogans on the walls. 

Source: Jonathan Brady/PA

“Whilst a proportionate policing plan is in place to balance the right to a peaceful protest, officers are well trained to maintain public order and are ready to respond to any incidents that may arise,” Metropolitan Police said this morning.

Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Extinction Rebellion, which was established last year in Britain by academics and has become one of the world’s fastest-growing environmental movements.

It is calling on governments to declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse emissions to zero by 2025, halt biodiversity loss and be led by new ‘citizens’ assemblies on climate and ecological justice’. 

The group has said protests will continue and it wants to “bring London to a standstill for up to two weeks”. 

Source: Steve Parsons

Police have ordered the protesters to confine themselves to a zone within Marble Arch, a space at the junction of Hyde Park.

“We so far have 55 bus routes closed and 500,000 people affected as a result,” the police said, while a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion James Fox said “we have no intention of leaving until the government listens to us.”

“Many of us are willing to sacrifice our liberty for the cause.”

- With reporting from AFP.

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