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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019

Semi-naked protesters disrupt House of Commons Brexit debate

The protesters said they were doing it to address the “elephant in the room – climate and ecological crisis”.

Image: Extinction Rebellion/Twitter

A GROUP OF protesters entered the public gallery in the House of Commons in Westminster this evening and stripped semi-naked while MPs debate a series of motions on where Brexit goes next.

The group – calling themselves Extinction Rebellion – said they were doing so to draw attention to climate and ecological issues, and promised further action in the coming weeks.

It said this was the first step in action that will take place before the “International Rebellion beginning on Monday 15 April which is set to shut down central London for days on end”. 

In a press release, the group said: “Today 11 activists from Extinction Rebellion stripped off in the House of Commons public gallery in an attempt to draw politicians’ attention to the climate and ecological crisis.

Two of the group wore full grey body paint and elephant masks to bring the message that politicians neglect of the climate crisis has become an ‘elephant in the room’.

A spokesperson added: “By undressing in parliament, we are putting ourselves in an incredibly vulnerable position, highlighting the vulnerability that all of us share in the face of environmental and societal breakdown.”

In a statement to Sky News, the Met Police said: “We are aware of protesters who have entered the public gallery in the House of Commons. The protesters, five in total are currently in the Strangers gallery.

The protesters are naked and one of them has super-glued themselves to a window. Officers are on scene and attempting to negotiate with them.

Police later confirmed that 12 people were arrested.

The MPs in the House below, while debating how the series of indicative votes on the course of Brexit tonight should go, mostly tried their best to ignore the protesters.

Some, however, decided to crack jokes instead.

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Sean Murray

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