Monday 15 April 2019 1:57 pm

Ground to a halt: Climate change protesters smash windows at Shell’s London HQ as blockades continue

Climate change protesters have attacked the London base of Shell, smashing doors and defacing the property as thousands of activists took to the streets in central London today.

Read more: The cheek of it: Climate activists strip off in parliament

Demonstrators graffitied the oil giant’s headquarters near Waterloo and several appeared to have glued their hands to the glass doors. 

Graffiti read: “Shell kills.”

Others climbed the scaffolding of the building and put up a banner that says “Shell Knows”.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed three arrests have been made as of 2pm this afternoon on suspicion of criminal damage. The three men have been taken to a central London police station

"Officers remain at the scene and the incident remains ongoing."

In a statement, activists said: “Still our governments remain silent about the severity of the threat and still the industries that drive this collapse are free to pollute and to steal the future from our children with zero accountability.”

Other Extinction Rebellion protesters have gathered at Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch as well as other key landmarks including Parliament Square to block traffic, as part of a global day of action.

This morning, Transport For London (TfL) said Waterloo Bridge was “blocked in both directions”, while Oxford Circus and Marble Arch had also been brought to a standstill.

Activists gathered at Hyde Park yesterday and were encouraged to camp there overnight before a march towards Piccadilly Circus today.

More than 80 cities in 33 countries are holding similar events in protest about environmental issues, they said.

Emergency services have been made aware of the plans, said the group.

The Metropolitan Police have said they have “appropriate” plans in place and that officers will be used “to support the public order operation during the coming weeks”.

They added: “We will always provide a proportionate policing plan to balance the right to a peaceful protest, while ensuring that disruption to communities is kept to a minimum.”

Extinction Rebellion said: “We’ve tried petitions, marches, letters, reports, papers, meetings, even direct actions; and global emissions have continued to rise. Governments prioritise the short term interests of the economic elites, so to get their attention, we have to disrupt the economy. They have left us with no other option.

“Civil disobedience works when it’s peaceful, respectful, disruptive and undertaken en masse. We don’t want to disrupt London, but our government’s failure over the last 30 years leaves us no choice but to bring this to people’s attention.”

The action follows a smaller protest on Friday, as around 1,000 students blocked Oxford Street at the junction with Regent Street as the third nationwide climate protest turned into a march.

Eighty-five people were arrested in London in November when thousands of protesters occupied five central London bridges.

Politicians were shocked as 12 semi-naked Extinction Rebellion protesters glued their hands to the glass partition above a debate in the House of Commons, resulting in their eventual arrest.

Read more: Commuter chaos: Extinction Rebellion causes central London gridlock

Extinction Rebellion said the activists had done it to “call attention to the ‘elephant in the room’ – climate and ecological crisis.”