Extinction Rebellion protest: Police warn of ‘robust’ plan for Parliament Square demonstration

Zamira Rahim
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Extinction Rebellion protest: Police warn of ‘robust’ plan for Parliament Square demonstration

Police have vowed to take “robust” action if Extinction Rebellion activists do not confine a planned protest to Parliament Square on Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Police has imposed conditions on the protest, requiring activists to disband by midnight – and not to block roads.

“Any organiser or person taking part in the protest failing to comply with these conditions or inciting others not to comply with them will be committing an offence and will be liable to arrest,” a police spokesperson said.

The warning comes as a police crackdown continues on the climate protesters.

More than 1,000 activists have been arrested in London though just 53 people have been charged.

Extinction Rebellion protesters have been staging demonstrations through the capital since 15 April, blocking Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Parliament Square among other locations.

Waterloo Bridge was reopened overnight on Sunday, while Oxford Street and Parliament Square were cleared earlier in the day.

Conditions imposed by the Metropolitan Police in an attempt to restrict the protests have so far failed to discourage the protesters.

Sajid Javid, the home secretary, last week said that the police had the government’s full support.

The politician also accused Extinction Rebellion of “causing misery for the millions of people who are trying to lead their daily lives” due to the significant travel disruption caused by the protests.

Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor, has also asked the protesters to allow the city to return to “business as usual”.

But the activists show little sign of backing down.

On Monday a group staged a “die-in” at the Natural History Museum, in an attempt to evoke “mass extinction” in the world-famous attraction’s entrance hall.

Extinction Rebellion has issued three demands, the first of which asks the government to declare a “climate and ecological” emergency.

They have also asked for the UK’s leaders to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025” and to create a citzens’ assembly to discuss climate change.

The Westminster demonstration on Tuesday will take place as MPs return to the Commons following their Easter break.

Additional reporting by agencies