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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 24 May, 2019
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Over 1,000 people - including Olympic gold medallist - arrested during Extinction Rebellion protests in London

The charges are for various offences including breaching public order laws, obstructing a highway and obstructing police.

Screengrab from a video of Olympic gold medallist Etienne Stott being arrested by police at the Extinction Rebellion demonstration on Waterloo Bridge in London.
Screengrab from a video of Olympic gold medallist Etienne Stott being arrested by police at the Extinction Rebellion demonstration on Waterloo Bridge in London.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

OVER ONE THOUSAND people have been arrested in connection with the Extinction Rebellion climate change protests over the past week, with further demonstrations taking place today.

London Met Police said that as of 10am this morning, 1,065 arrests had been made on connection with the protests, and 53 people had been charged. 

Among those arrested was British Olympic gold medal-winning canoeist Etienne Stott. He was filmed being carried by police from Waterloo Bridge yesterday. 

Protests have been ongoing since last Monday, with demonstrators blocking bridges and roads in London. 

Police said that Waterloo Bridge in the city was reopened and sites at Oxford Street and Parliament Square which had been closed were also reopened. 

Yesterday, Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg – who has become the face of the anti-climate change movement – addressed the demonstrators, telling them: “Humanity is standing at a crossroads.”

Organisers said they were willing to switch tactics from disruption to dialogue next week – if the government enters talks with them.

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

Campaigners want governments to declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025, halt biodiversity loss and be led by new “citizens’ assemblies on climate and ecological justice.

Dublin also saw people take to the streets as part of the Extinction Rebellion movement on Friday and Saturday.

Protesters staged a sit down protest on O’Connell Bridge for about five hours in the afternoon and evening. 

Greta Thunberg

Thunberg, the 16-year-old activist who has inspired pupils worldwide to boycott classes to join climate protests, addressed the cheering crowds at the Marble Arch landmark in London yesterday, the only authorised demonstration site.

“For way too long the politicians and people in power have got away with not doing anything at all to fight the climate crisis and ecological crisis,” she said.

But we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer.

She continued:

“How do we want the future living conditions for all living species to be like?

“Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take.

We are waiting for the others to follow our example.

Those charged range in age from 19 to 77. They hail from around England and Wales, with one person from France charged.

The charges are for various offences including breaching public order laws, obstructing a highway and obstructing police.

With reporting from © AFP 2019  

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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