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Three protesters have scaled the entrance of the Guildhall in central London as environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion prepare to kick off two weeks of action in the capital
A crowd of about 200 people sang and cheered as the protesters sprayed red paint over the walls of the building and unfurled a banner reading “co-liberation freedom together”.
A wall of police officers gathered in front of the building while special officers and a JCB vehicle were brought in to remove the demonstrators at about 8pm.
The Metropolitan police said nine people had been arrested in connection with the protest.
The force said three had been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and a further five were arrested for conspiracy to cause criminal damage.
A further person was arrested for going equipped to cause criminal damage and all are in police custody, the Met said.
The stunt comes ahead of two weeks of activism, organised by Extinction Rebellion and beginning on August 23, which will take place at different locations around the capital.
Among the crowd at Guildhall was Game Of Thrones actor Jerome Flynn, who said it was “more urgent than ever” for people to take a stand together.
“I’m a bit lost for words at the moment, I’m feeling very moved to be here,” he told the PA news agency.
“It feels needed and more poignant and more urgent than ever to come together.
“It’s time to collaborate, there are so many things that are trying to polarise us and pull us apart.
“More than ever, we need to come together.
“We’ve got used to certain systems that are life destructive, we created them, we’ve become addicted to them, and we know the world is burning as a result.”
Those taking part in the two-week protest are being asked to gather in Trafalgar Square, in central London at 10am on Monday.
Tracy Mullaghan, 45, a retired school nurse from Milton Keynes: said: “To save our environment we have to try and understand how we’ve got into the position where we’ve known for nearly four decades that the way we live our lives has an impact on the world.”