Extinction Rebellion activists glued themselves to the ground to block entrances to Parliament today in a dramatic escalation of their two-week campaign of disruption.
The activists said the government had done little to reach its own ‘inadequate targets’ so they had to take action to ensure politicians took global warming seriously.
Others chained themselves to the roof of a small pink slaughterhouse truck to blockade the street next to the Department of Health in a protest about carbon emissions from meat production.
Police arrested another 72 Extinction Rebellion activists yesterday as they swooped on demonstrators lying in the road to block Boris Johnson‘s route to Prime Ministers’ Questions yesterday.
It brings the total number of eco-warriors detained to 232 since they kick-started their fortnight of chaos in the capital on Friday following a coronavirus recess.
Extinction Rebellion protesters holding a sign reading ‘we act in peace’ glued themselves to the cobbles outside an entrance to Parliament today
This protester grimaced as he was led away by police after attempting to block Victoria Street in Westminster – which is where the Department of Health is located
Police officers haul away an activist who had been blocking the road outside the Department of Health this morning
A warning on a protester’s hand warning it had been glued to the ground (left) and a woman being hauled away by police
The arrests were made for a range of offences including breaching Public Order conditions, obstructing the highway, obstructing police and assault on an emergency worker.
XR spokesperson Tamsin Omand, 35, from London, said that protesters wanted the Prime Minister to see and hear their action.
‘The climate and ecological emergency has to be the absolute priority – how we are going to transform society into one that is fit for the crises we are already experiencing and the ones coming down the road,’ she said.
‘We are seeing a Parliament that has failed on every count – Boris Johnson wasn’t even around for the first Cobras (of the coronavirus pandemic), so if that is the attitude he is going to take to the climate and ecological emergency we are in dire straits.
‘Disruption is a core tenet of how XR works and how we have managed to achieve so much in a short period of time.
‘We have been outside Downing Street blocking his route on both sides and of course he’s encountering us here in the square – I think we are impossible to ignore.’
Police remove a protester from Victoria Street in London, in a scene that will be familiar to anyone who has followed the protests this week
Police officers talk to a protester carrying a cardboard placard reading ‘outlaw profit by ecocide’ on Victoria Street today
Another group of protesters staging a sit down protest at the Carriage Gates entrance to the Houses of Parliament
Specialist police remove protesters who had chained themselves to the top of a slaughterhouse truck outside the Department of Health