An ambulance on an emergency call was today caught in an Extinction Rebellion traffic jam as protesters blocked Parliament in London and tried to storm Cardiff’s new BBC building.
Footage shows the response vehicle stuck with its lights flashing at a roundabout on Millbank, Westminster, with no way of getting through.
Demonstrators had blocked off the nearby bridges – which lead to the nearby St Thomas’ Hospital – as they cranked up their disruption this afternoon.
The ambulance was forced to do a U-turn around the island and head back in the opposite direction during the chaos.
Journalist Tom Harwood posted video from the scene with the caption: ‘This is chaos, it’s had to completely U-turn and drive back away from the way to the hospital. Extinction Rebellion continue to block the bridge with glee.’
It came after the eco-warriors tried to storm Cardiff’s new BBC building and demonstrators glued their hands to the pavement outside Parliament on the seventh day of climate chaos – with 232 arrests so far.
The eco-warriors descended on the studios in Central Square in the Welsh capital as some of the 400-strong mob tried and failed to shove past police.
Earlier today fellow activists glued themselves to the ground to block entrances to Parliament in Westminster in a dramatic escalation of their two-week campaign of disruption.
Protesters said they ‘jumped the barriers and ran past armed police to glue (themselves) on to the floor outside the House of Lords’.
The tactic, a staple of previous XR demonstrations, was accompanied by scores of others staging a sit-in elsewhere around the perimeter of the parliamentary estate, including at the Carriage Gates.
Journalist Tom Harwood (pictured) posted video from the scene with the caption: ‘This is chaos, it’s had to completely U-turn and drive back away from the way to the hospital. Extinction Rebellion continue to block the bridge with glee’
Police officers and security staff remove a man who tried to sit in front of the BBC Wales office in Central Square this afternoon
The demonstrators graffiti is pictured on the new BBC building in Cardiff as it was defaced during the protests this afternoon
Extinction Rebellion protesters holding a sign reading ‘we act in peace’ glued themselves to the cobbles outside an entrance to Parliament today
A separate protest, carried out by XR ally Animal Rebellion, saw activists locked on top of a pink slaughterhouse truck parked sideways across nearby Victoria Street
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
An Extinction Rebellion activist waves a flare as they walk along Horse Guards Road past the Treasury building this afternoon
Extinction Rebellion flags flutter in the breeze amid pink smoke from flares during the protest on Horse Guards Road today
Cyclists gather outside Buckingham Palace during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London. The environmental campaign group has planned events to be held at several landmarks in the capital
An Extinction Rebellion protester rides a bicycle with a dog in the front basket during a climate change protest outside Buckingham Palace
A protester is pulled up from the ground by police in London after attempting to block a road during protests this morning
An activist wearing a face mask is hauled away by officers after a protest on Victoria Street, where the Department of Health is located
An activist wearing a clown costume is showered with fake money as she lies on the floor during today’s London protests
Police said ‘dozens’ of arrests had been made by midday today. Pictured are protesters walking past the Treasury
Extinction Rebellion activists often try to be arrested to divert police officers and cause maximum disruption
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said police have put a cordon around the vehicle and are working to safely remove protesters, who will subsequently be arrested
Police officers push away a van that protesters had used to block one of the roads leading to Parliament this morning
A separate protest, carried out by XR ally Animal Rebellion, saw activists locked on top of a pink slaughterhouse truck parked sideways across nearby Victoria Street.
The campaigners said they are demanding ‘a plant-based food system as a means to mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis and reduce the risk of future pandemics’. They have previously used fake blood in their demonstrations.
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. Police said there had been ‘dozens’ more arrests today.
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.
It comes a day after they blocked Bute Terrace in both directions and caused traffic delays around the city. Around 400 people are estimated to have attended the protest, which is part of a week-long campaign across the UK.
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
The Met confirmed that 72 people had been arrested as of 5pm on Wednesday, the majority for breaching conditions imposed on the Parliament Square demonstration
XR wants the Government to declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emission to net zero by 2025, and establish a ‘citizens’ assembly on climate and ecological justice’
A spokesman for South Wales Police said: ‘Officers are currently in attendance at a protest in Central Square in Cardiff. One person has been arrested on suspicion of committing criminal damage.
‘Officers are working to engage with protest organisers and attendees in order to remind them of their obligations under the current Coronavirus legislation and the overarching goal for everyone to take personal responsibility by following Welsh Government regulations to Keep Wales Safe.
‘We are duty-bound to take into account all relevant legislation, and South Wales Police has strived to maintain a consistent policing style of engaging, explaining and encouraging, and enforcing as last resort where necessary, throughout this public health emergency – an approach we intend to continue.’
XR spokesman 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.’