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Extinction Rebellion stage silent socially-distanced climate protests across Britain 

Extinction Rebellion protestors were hauled away by police as they staged a silent, socially-distanced protest in London.

The activist group is gathering across the UK – including in Westminster, London – throughout the day to protest the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis. 

Mask-clad protestors have flocked to Parliament Square to stand in a ‘socially distanced grid’ which places them three-metres apart.

But some people were arrested for breaching coronavirus regulations, Met Police have confirmed.

Extinction Rebellion – which brought London to a standstill in a series of protests last year – said people are only allowed to arrive alone or in pairs. 

Extinction Rebellion protestors were hauled away by police as they staged a silent socially-distanced protest in London. Pictured: Protestor in Westminster

A man was hauled away by police from Parliament Square in London during the Extinction Rebellion protests

A man was hauled away by police from Parliament Square in London during the Extinction Rebellion protests

A man raised his hands as he was lead away by police after protesting in central London

A man raised his hands as he was lead away by police after protesting in central London 

The controversial group said they aim to 'publicly express their dissatisfaction with Government incompetence'. Pictured: A police officer talks to an extinction rebellion protestor

The controversial group said they aim to ‘publicly express their dissatisfaction with Government incompetence’. Pictured: A police officer talks to an extinction rebellion protestor

A man is arrested by police during the Extinction Rebellion protests in Parliament Square today

A man is arrested by police during the Extinction Rebellion protests in Parliament Square today

A man was arrested by Met Police officers in London as the controversial activist group held a protest

A man was arrested by Met Police officers in London as the controversial activist group held a protest

A police officer spoke to an Extinction Rebellion protestor as they took part in the demonstration in London

A police officer spoke to an Extinction Rebellion protestor as they took part in the demonstration in London

A police officer speaks to a woman and a child as they take part in a protest in London's Parliament Square

A police officer speaks to a woman and a child as they take part in a protest in London’s Parliament Square

A police officer speaks to a protestor holding the sign 'care of chaos' as he protests in London

A police officer speaks to a protestor holding the sign ‘care of chaos’ as he protests in London

The activist group is gathering across the UK - including in Woolwich, London (pictured) - throughout the day to protest the government's response to the coronavirus crisis

The activist group is gathering across the UK – including in Woolwich, London (pictured) – throughout the day to protest the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis

Extinction Rebellion - which brought London to a standstill in a series of protests last year - said people are only allowed to arrive alone or in pairs. Pictured: Protestors in Portsmouth's Guildhall Square

Extinction Rebellion – which brought London to a standstill in a series of protests last year – said people are only allowed to arrive alone or in pairs. Pictured: Protestors in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square

Mask-clad protestors have flocked to Parliament Square to stand in a 'socially distanced grid' which places them three-metres apart (pictured)

Mask-clad protestors have flocked to Parliament Square to stand in a ‘socially distanced grid’ which places them three-metres apart (pictured)

Protestors can only attend protests local to them by walking or cycling with public transport avoided unless absolutely necessary, the group's website states. Pictured: Police officers at an Extinction Rebellion protest in Parlaiment Square

Protestors can only attend protests local to them by walking or cycling with public transport avoided unless absolutely necessary, the group’s website states. Pictured: Police officers at an Extinction Rebellion protest in Parlaiment Square

They can only attend protests local to them by walking or cycling with public transport avoided unless absolutely necessary, the group’s website stated.

The controversial group said they aim to ‘publicly express their dissatisfaction with Government incompetence and demand a Citizens Assembly on the Covid-19 recovery’.

They said: ‘Addressing the pandemic is inseparable from the climate and ecological emergency.’

Activists are also urged to bring their own cardboard signs which read either ‘people or profit’, ‘life or death’ or ‘new roads or new bike lanes’.

A large number of police officers were seen gathered in Parliament Square as Extinction Rebellion protestors held a demonstration

A large number of police officers were seen gathered in Parliament Square as Extinction Rebellion protestors held a demonstration

A woman wore a yellow protective face mask in Woolwich as the group gathered to protest the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis

A woman wore a yellow protective face mask in Woolwich as the group gathered to protest the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis

The activist group are calling for a 'Citizens Assembly on the Covid-19 recovery'. Pictured: Protestors outside the Houses of Parliament

The activist group are calling for a ‘Citizens Assembly on the Covid-19 recovery’. Pictured: Protestors outside the Houses of Parliament

A protestor clutching a child holds a placard reading 'planet or profit' in London

A protestor clutching a child holds a placard reading ‘planet or profit’ in London

Protestors spaced out as they stood on the grass in Parlaiment Square clutching signs and flags

Protestors spaced out as they stood on the grass in Parlaiment Square clutching signs and flags

A protestor brandishes a sign as she stands outside the Woolwich Centre in south London today

A protestor brandishes a sign as she stands outside the Woolwich Centre in south London today

The group aim to peacefully protest the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis. Pictured: Protestors in Woolwich

The group aim to peacefully protest the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. Pictured: Protestors in Woolwich

Marijn Van De Geer from Extinction Rebellion’s Citizens Assembly working group says: ‘We urgently need a democratic deliberative process such as a Citizens’ Assembly to consider how best to rebuild our economy for a more sustainable, fair and long term basis. 

‘This must be done outside of polarising party politics. 

‘Most importantly, this discussion needs to be held between ordinary people, not just politicians, current power holders and various special interest groups.’ 

Former-Met Police Detective Sergeant Paul Stephens said: ‘Each day it becomes increasingly evident that the Government is making mistakes that cost lives. 

‘We will come out of this crisis but at what human cost? 

A police officer speaks to a protestor in London. The activist clutches a sign reading 'forest or for profit'

A police officer speaks to a protestor in London. The activist clutches a sign reading ‘forest or for profit’

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘Police are on scene at two locations in Westminster (pictured) after a number of demonstrators gathered'

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘Police are on scene at two locations in Westminster (pictured) after a number of demonstrators gathered’

A woman wearing a protective face mask and gloves clutches a sign as she protests in London

A woman wearing a protective face mask and gloves clutches a sign as she protests in London

A police officer speaks to a protestor as they stand in Parliament Square, London

A police officer speaks to a protestor as they stand in Parliament Square, London

‘The Prime Minister is more concerned with protecting his mate and his position than protecting the people of this country from further harm. 

‘They put GDP before emergency preparation for a crisis such as this. 

‘Now consider the climate situation that threatens us on a much grander scale than Covid-19. We cannot trust them to see beyond the next election.’

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘Police are on scene at two locations in Westminster after a number of demonstrators gathered.

‘A small number arrests have been made at each site for breach of Covid-19 regulations and some fixed penalty notices issued.

‘Officers are engaging with those present and encouraging them to go home. The majority of individuals have dispersed.’ 

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