Extinction Rebellion: More than 100 arrests after police order climate protesters to stay at Marble Arch

Telegraph Reporters
Police officers  carry an activist as they remove demonstrators from Waterloo Bridge - AFP

Police have revealed more than 100 people were arrested on Waterloo Bridge last night and this morning as climate change protesters failed to abide an order allowing them to only congregate at Marble Arch.

So far, 122 people have been held as part of the ongoing Extinction Rebellion (XR) demonstrations, the majority of which were for breaching a public order offence and obstructing the highway. 

The XR group yesterday targeted Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge, and Parliament Square in a series of road blockades, which it warned could last for weeks.

Police chiefs said they decided to impose an order last night stating activists could demonstrate within the Marble Arch area following "serious disruption" to businesses and public transport.

Chief superintendent Colin Wingrove, from the Metropolitan Police, said 55 bus routes had been closed as a result of the blockades, which has affected half a million people.

Police officers imposed an order allowing activists to protest only within Marble Arch Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP

He said: "We need to ensure we are striking the right balance between allowing the right to a peaceful protest, while ensuring disruption to communities is kept to a minimum.

“We are mindful of the impact the demonstrations are having on the local communities and are working hard with partners including TfL to keep London moving and open for businesses and visitors alike.

“At this time, ongoing demonstrations are causing serious disruptions to public transport, local businesses and Londoners who wish to go about their daily business.

Activists have been forcibly removed from Waterloo Bridge Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP

“As such a 24hour condition was imposed at 6:55pm last night which stipulated that protestors should continue any demonstrations within the Marble Arch area only.

“In order to impose this condition, the Met required evidence that serious disruption was being caused to communities in London. We so far have 55 bus routes closed and 500,000 people affected as a result. 

"Based on the information and intelligence available at the time, we are satisfied that this threshold has been met and this course of action is necessary in order to prevent ongoing serious disruptions to communities. 

The number of arrests surged overnight after police restricted the protesters to Marble Arch only Credit: Anadolu Agency

"We are taking positive action against those who are choosing to ignore this condition and are continuing to demonstrate in other areas across London."

Chief Supt Wingrove said the force expected demonstrations to continue "throughout the coming weeks".

Following disruption in the heart of the capital yesterday, groups lingered on Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square into the early hours of Tuesday, as the disruption continued into its second day.

Five of those arrested, three men and two women, were held on suspicion of criminal damage after protesters vandalised Shell's headquarters on Monday.

Activists set up tents at Marble Arch as part of ongoing climate change protests Credit: Hannah McKay/Reuters

The oil firm's revolving doors were shattered and graffiti was daubed onto the building near Waterloo station as activists glued themselves to the entrance.

XR, whose prime goal is to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025, claimed between 3,000 and 6,000 supporters could take part in the protests before yesterday's action. Last November, they blocked bridges across London to bring chaos to the capital.

The ongoing demonstrations comes as part of attempts to force the Government to declare a climate emergency.  this month, several Extinction Rebellion activists stripped semi-naked in the House of Commons during a Brexit debate.

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