Eight arrested as Extinction Rebellion protesters glue themselves around Speaker’s chair in Parliament

·3-min read
Eight arrested as Extinction Rebellion protesters glue themselves around Speaker’s chair in Parliament

Eight people have been arrested after Extinction Rebellion supporters superglued themselves in a circle around the Speakers Chair inside the House of Commons on Friday.

The protest group read out a speech to the empty Parliament chamber demanding a citizens’ assembly on climate change.

They also held up banners which read “let the people decide” and “citizens assembly now”.

A member also climbed up the scaffolding around Big Ben and held another banner, while two others chained themselves to the railings surrounding the building.

The protest will likely spark an immediate security review.

Extinction Rebellion protesters superglued themselves around the Speaker’s chair in the House of Commons chamber (PA Media)
Extinction Rebellion protesters superglued themselves around the Speaker’s chair in the House of Commons chamber (PA Media)

An Extinction Rebellion protester said everyone inside the Common’s chamber had entered the building legally via an official tour for tourists.

Parliament is currently not sitting as it is in recess for the summer.

The group read out a speech to the empty chamber and said: We are in crisis. And what goes on in this chamber every day makes a joke out of us all. We can not afford to carry on like this.

“It is possible to act on climate and costs in a way that is fair and supports everyone.

“But our political system is too out of date and out of touch to see beyond the next election cycle and do what needs to be done.”

An Extinction Rebellion protester stands with a banner on the scaffolding inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament (REUTERS)
An Extinction Rebellion protester stands with a banner on the scaffolding inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament (REUTERS)

Police spokesman said: “Officers rapidly responded to an incident at the Palace of Westminster (PoW) today at approximately 11,45am after we became aware of a number of protesters within the Parliamentary estate.

“Met specialist Protester Removal Team officers worked with other officers and security staff based at the PoW to remove the protesters.

“Four protesters who were present in the Chambers and had glued themselves to each other were de-bonded and arrested. None of these protesters were glued to the Speaker’s chair and there has been no damage to the Speaker’s chair.

“A protester who glued himself to the pavement inside the PoW was de-bonded and arrested.

“A protester who climbed onto some scaffolding within the PoW came down of his own volition and was arrested.

“All of the above six individuals were arrested on suspicion of offences under Section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act of 2005.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“Two protesters who locked themselves to the Carriage Gates were removed and arrested for failing to comply with directions under Section 143 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act of 2011.

“All of those arrested have been taken into custody at central London police stations where they currently remain.

“A police investigation into the incident is now taking place in close liaison with our Parliamentary Security colleagues to establish the full circumstances of the incident.”

“The incident was concluded at approximately 2.15pm.”

It is not the first time protesters have entered Parliament. In 2004 pro fox hunting protesters stormed the House of Commons during a debate on banning the blood sport.

Eight men were convicted of violating the Public Order Act after invading the chamber.

A House of Commons spokesman said: “We are aware of an incident on the Parliamentary Estate and are currently dealing with the situation as a matter of urgency.”

Extinction Rebellion, also known as XR, is planning a fresh wave of protests in the capital later this month.

On September 10 to 13th campaigners will be demonstrating at Marble Arch.