Dismal handful of Extinction Rebellion diehards battle to hold Oxford Street – just 24 hours after violent scenes on the Tube dented eco-mob’s appeal
Extinction Rebellion fortnight of aggravating Londoners dragged on today as the group’s diehards occupied one of the capital’s busiest road junctions.
The wind was taken out of the zealots’ sails yesterday when commuters sick of delays and mayhem took steps to arrest demonstrators themselves at Canning Town tube station.
But despite apologising over the violence and scaling down a planned shutdown of Gatwick Airport, Extinction Rebellion resumed their disruption this morning, setting up a wooden structure at the junction of Oxford Street and Regent’s Street.
Pictures from the scene showed police, whose resources have been stretched by two weeks of stunts, move in after activists built a wooden structure in the middle of the road.
The latest stunt saw scores of buses, many of which are made to reduce emissions, cancelled or rerouted, causing hundreds of workers to be late to work.
Extinction Rebellion took over Oxford Street today as their fortnight of stunts ground on, testing Londoners’ patience
Activists built a wooden structure at the junction of Oxford Street and Regent’s Street, forced police to move in en masse
Police quickly shut down the area as they move to dismantle the structure without hurting those tied to it
The group, whose cause suffered a setback when an activists resorted to violence yesterday, admitted they were low on numbers
Responses from many of Twitter showed that public sympathy with the group has run dry. Many Londoners branded today’s action ‘pointless’ and counter-productive.
Abby Deveney wrote: ‘Blocking Oxford Circus halts buses used by real people … people with buggies, people with walking sticks, people with invisible mobility issues, yeah, those kind of people.This strategy is not helpful’
Another Twitter user wrote: ‘The extinction rebellion lot made me late to work. They really blocked Oxford Street (where regular cars are already banned) and just disrupted public transport. They need to work on their tactics.’
Robert Hook wrote: ‘A fairly pointless protest indeed, given that the desire of most vendors along Oxford Street is to pedestrianise it! It’s true that this is one of the most polluted streets on the planet, but the only people inconvenienced by this are the people least able to make a difference!’