Extinction Rebellion shuts down Westminster roads: 21 arrests made
Extinction Rebellion has blocked several roads around Parliament this morning, as the first of several days’ demonstration kicks off.
Police have already made 21 arrests in connection with the protests, which are expected to choke off major roads and bridges in central London for the next fortnight.
The climate change protest group, which caused chaos over the early summer, has blocked bridges and some of the key roads in SW1.
Organisers are targetting 12 sites around Westminster, and will be occupying those areas for two weeks, including overnight. They plan to block “every single road”, with an estimated 10,000 people confirming they will protest over the fortnight, according to organisers.
That will dwarf the 2,000 who took part in April’s protest.
The group is live streaming its protest, which is aimed at forcing the government to up its commitments to the environment by pledging net carbon emissions by 2025. The government is currently targeting 2050, although Labour has pledged to cut that to 2030.
There was increased police presence around Westminster, including Parliament Square, the main bridges and the tube station this morning.
“The Met has been planning the policing operation for this protest, unprecedented in its length and scale, for several months,” said deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor.
“They are planning a prolonged, coordinated protest, designed to bring the heart of London to a standstill and disrupt the daily business of people who live, work and are visiting London.
“Londoners need to know that while we will do everything in our power to minimise and manage the impact of these protests, they will inevitably cause significant disruption.”
A number of people have been arrested in the run-up to the protest.
Last week, a small group of XR protesters attempted to spray red paint on the Treasury, but it ended somewhat farcically.
Main image: Getty