Extinction Rebellion chaos: 102 protesters arrested in London

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One hundred and two Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested in London.

As of 5:30pm on Tuesday, 40 arrests were made on the third day of protests.

Ten arrests were made on Sunday and 52 arrests were made on Monday.

The arrests were for a variety of offences.

Among the chaos, two women were detained by officers on Tuesday for spray painting the floor outside the HM Revenue & Customs building with slogans including “Oil=Death”.

An elderly woman who lay in the road was carried off by four officers during the demonstration while others laid on the floor in front of a banner reading: “Government in bed with climate criminals”.

After gathering at Parliament Square, campaigners ran towards slow-moving traffic on Whitehall.

Others glued themselves to the wall of the Selfridges department store.

A TfL spokesman said Parliament Street in Whitehall had been blocked in both directions and there was slow-moving traffic in pockets of central London near Embankment and in Westminster due to XR action.

A 72-year-old protester said: “We’re just ordinary human beings who’ve come from all over the country. We’ve different backgrounds and pasts. We may be a little more courageous than some others but that’s all. We’re all in this together.”

Gaby, 48, from Bristol, who declined to give her full name, said she had been campaigning for environmental change since she was at school and said that XR had helped spur on a much-needed urgency to the movement.

She said: “For years and years you do little bits and small things happen but the change we need now is so urgent that as many people need to come out on the streets to show that they don’t agree with the direction our earth is going in.”

A silent protest where dozens of demonstrators painted themselves white and donned burlap fabric walked down from Trafalgar Square towards Whitehall.

They brandished signs reading: “Funding Climate Hell”, “Burned Gas Burned Our Future” and “Permitted New Oil Drilling In Spite of Crisis”.

A giant pink table erected in central London on Monday was dismantled by police.

Segments of the four-metre structure were seen being carried off by men in hard hats and blue overalls on Tuesday.

Police have been taking hours rather than days to arrest Extinction Rebellion (XR) protestors as the group focussed its second day of action on a giant pink table erected in London’s Covent Garden.

It came as the Welsh branch of XR set up a surprise party in St James’ Park as they drummed and whistled on a march to Parliament Square.

They opened up a new frontline against police chaining themselves to each other in Whitehall.

A Met Events team, tweeted: “Overnight we have continued to clear the roads around Extinction Rebellion’s protest on Long Acre junction, #CoventGarden.

“We’ve removed the chairs activists brought and glued onto, making many arrests. At this time the pink table structure remains.

“Protesters have locked their arms inside the table. Our specialist teams are examining this.

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“We’ve been told that if we interfere with the table, it could collapse. We have to think of the safety of those there and our officers.”

The force added they were working with local businesses to prevent any disruption to deliveries.

According to XR’s website, this is Tuesday’s Impossible Rebellion schedule:

10am St James’ Park: “Not In Our Name”, an XR Cymru action.

Those attending have been advised to meet near a cafe at the park’s Storey’s Gate.

11am London Bridge: “Make Pensions Green – Get Out Of Oil & Gas”, an XR Grandparents & Elders action.

Those attending have been advised to meet at Tooley Street.

4.30pm Cavendish Square Gardens: “Code Red For Fossil Fuel Fashion”.

The Met had made 3,762 arrests during the previous protests including 2019, and brought 1,938 prosecutions, of which 73 per cent ended in convictions. But a number of these were overturned following a Supreme Court ruling that obstruction can be a legitimate and lawful form of protest.

The arrests came as XR co-founder Gail Bradbook was called a “hypocrite” for admitting she drove her children to rugby fixtures in a diesel car.

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Dr Bradbrook, a molecular biologist, admitted in the Talk Radio interview that she had "done lots of good things but I also don’t get it all right" before revealing she drove a car.

When asked by host Cristo Foufas if it was electric the 49-year-old, who founded XR in 2018, said: "No, because I can’t afford it. But if somebody wants to give me £5,000 you can convert my car to electric, and I don’t have the money at the minute.”

The group has plans at London Bridge and Cavendish Square Gardens on Tuesday.

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