Police hauled away Extinction Rebellion activists lying in the road to block Boris Johnson’s route to Parliament today – as officers announced they’d made 160 arrests since the group began its fortnight of protests on Friday.
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.
Several activists had to be cleared from the road where they had been lying down in an attempt to block Mr Johnson’s route to Prime Minister’s Questions this morning.
Police were seen dragging Extinction Rebellion protesters away from Parliament Square today after they tried to block Boris Johnson’s route into Parliament
Activists began their two-week campaign on Friday and intend to keep going for two weeks, with more protests planned across the country
A protester is carried away by police carrying a pink Extinction Rebellion flag after trying to block a road near Whitehall
A protester wearing a bib with the logo ‘Extinction Rebellion Cambridge’ being led away by police near Parliament Square
Activists carried banners, banged drums and chanted as many spilled outside the stipulated protest area and blockaded Great George Street today
Crowds cheered in solidarity with those arrested by police for refusing to heed warnings that they would be detained if they did not move
These protesters gathered in Cardiff, Wales. Extinction Rebellion are planning a fortnight of action
These demonstrators gathered outside the Senedd Cymru Welsh Parliament in Cardiff Bay earlier today
This elderly woman was among being removed by police officers from the roads around Parliament Square this afternoon
Extinction Rebellion protesters pose as corpses during a protest in Parliament Square this morning as the group continued its two weeks of action
Police attempt to free Extinction Rebellion protesters that are glued to each other through a piece of wood outside the Home Office
An Extinction Rebellion protester holds up a smoke flare in Parliament Square during a climate change protest
Police officers stand by as an Extinction Rebellion protester climbs a tree in Parliament Square during a climate change protest
Extinction Rebellion protesters wearing snorkels before a drown in outside the Senedd Cymru Welsh Parliament in Cardiff Bay
A woman gives a talk during an Extinction Rebellion protest outside the Senedd Cymru Welsh Parliament in Cardiff Bay
Activists carried banners, banged drums and chanted as many spilled outside the stipulated protest area and blockaded Great George Street today.
Crowds cheered in solidarity with those arrested by police for refusing to heed warnings that they would be detained if they did not move.
Others appeared to let their bodies go limp or simply looked away as police warned them to move within the protest area outside Parliament.
In a separate stunt outside the Home Office nearby, two XR protesters hastily unloaded a large piece of tree trunk from a flatbed lorry and glued their hands together through a hollowed-out section in the middle.
They were joined by scores of protesters moments later, some pouring a red liquid to symbolise blood, and blocking the entire road.
XR spokesperson Tamsin Omand, 35, from London, said that protesters wanted the Prime Minister to see and hear their action.
Mx Omand said: ‘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.
‘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.’
They added: ‘Our message to Boris Johnson is that he’s really the last Prime Minister who can do something, that can take the action required to set us on a new course. He’s got a new son – he needs to think what the world will look like in 20 years.’
An Extinction Rebellion protester is removed by police officers in Parliament Square, London this morning as activists tried to block Boris Johnson’s route to the Commons
Extinction Rebellion protesters block the road during a protest in Parliament Square this morning before officers arrived to remove them
Yesterday, dozens of activists were arrested for a series of offences, including blocking a public highway and assaulting a member of the emergency services
Members of the environmental campaign group regularly block roads to cause maximum disruption and draw attention to their cause
A woman with a drum lies on the road as police try to remove her, while another protester stands nearby carrying a sign about deforestation
The Metropolitan Police said protests could only take place off the main roads at Parliament Square between 8am and 7pm
Fellow XR supporter Andrew Stevenson, a 44-year-old consultant surgeon from Somerset, said he felt compelled to join the protest.
He said: ‘I’ve been a doctor for 20 years, I qualified from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital that sits directly opposite Parliament, and if you told me 20 years ago that I would be doing what I’m doing now – non-violent direct action to try and get the Government to act in a reasonable way to the threat of the climate and ecological emergency – I would have told you ‘That’s crazy, of course they have that in hand.’ They don’t.
‘Every day doctors and healthcare professionals use science – if we don’t do that it’s negligence.
‘We have a duty to keep our knowledge up to date, treat our patients as best we can. What we have now is a situation whereby the science has been crystal clear for decades – yet we’ve had decades of inaction.’
The Metropolitan Police said 160 arrests were made, as of 11pm yesterday , for offences including breaching public order conditions, obstructing the highway, obstructing police and assault on an emergency worker.
Further protests are planned around the country during the rest of this week and into next.
Last year, more than 1,700 arrests were made during Extinction Rebellion’s 10-day ‘Autumn Uprising’, which saw major disruption across the UK.
Various stunts are due to take place throughout the day, including a ‘theatrical’ display highlighting ‘how the climate crisis is causing death’, and a silent protest outside Buckingham Palace, Extinction Rebellion said
Further events are planned to take place up until September 10 across the city, including a ‘carnival of corruption’ outside the Treasury, and the ‘walk of shame’ near the Bank of England
Protesters being moved away by police today after blocking roads near the Houses of Parliament – where PMQs is taking place
Last year, more than 1,700 arrests were made during Extinction Rebellion’s 10-day ‘Autumn Uprising’, which saw major disruption across the UK
Protesters chanted and cheered as the officers took the protesters away to nearby police vans