Extinction Rebellion protesters block site of London super-sewer

Amy Walker
Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

Extinction Rebellion protesters have blockaded the entrance to the construction of London’s £4.2bn super-sewer project as part of a fifth day of protests.

About 50 activists – including mothers and children from the nearby Riverside primary school – began a blockade to halt concrete pouring at Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey, south-east London, at 7.30am on Friday.

The civil disobedience movement argues that the continuous traffic and parking of mixing concrete lorries at one of the main sites for building the Thames Tideway tunnel will cause huge air pollution.

Heather Mulkerrins, 31, who is protesting at the site with her four children – three of whom have asthma – said she was there to “protect our children … I am worried about all the dust and pollution from the lorries.”

Extinction Rebellion activists are also expected to demonstrate outside the Daily Mail’s headquarters at Northcliffe House in Kensington in central London on Friday afternoon to demand the media “tell the truth” about the climate crisis.

Others are expected to gather outside the City of London magistrates court on Friday morning in a show of support for 50 activists who have been charged after taking part in protests.

Non-violent disruption by the movement resumed in the capital, Leeds, Cardiff, Glasgow and Bristol on Monday to urge the government to take immediate action to address the climate emergency. They are scheduled to finish on Friday afternoon.

Sixteen Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested in Bristol on Wednesday after they blocked a main road leading to the M32 motorway.

On Wednesday, a man told BBC Radio Bristol he had been unable to get to the city’s Royal Infirmary before his father died because of the blockade.

In a statement, the movement said: “It is with deep regret that we hear of the serious emotional impact on several individuals caught in traffic resulting from one of our protests in Bristol. We would like to apologise and we will be making a full review of events yesterday to minimise the risk of this being repeated in the future.”

Police have accused Extinction Rebellion of causing “high-level” disruption and called for courts to hand out tougher sentences to deter activists from causing further disruption.

During 11 days of protests by the movement in the spring, 1,100 people were arrested – most of whom are expected to be taken to court.