Police warn of ‘robust’ plan for Parliament Square climate change protest

By Press Association Reporters

Police have said they have a “robust” plan in place ahead of a proposed climate change protest in Parliament Square.

The demonstration on Tuesday – which coincides with the first day Parliament is sitting following the Easter recess – is the latest action by Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters in the capital.

More than 1,000 people have been arrested during climate change protests which started on Monday April 15. The action has seen Waterloo Bridge and Oxford Circus blocked and a “die in” at the Natural History Museum.

Among the campaigners’ demands is for the Government to declare a climate emergency, and members of XR have previously suggested temporarily ending disruptive tactics to focus on political negotiations as the campaign enters a second week.

Activists are expected to walk from Marble Arch to Parliament Square on Tuesday morning, arriving outside Parliament at around 10am, organisers said.

Scotland Yard has said protesters at Parliament Square must leave a designated area by 11.59pm on Tuesday and warned: “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.”

The force added: “A robust policing plan will be in place for the demonstration.”

Meanwhile, Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, who has inspired international youth climate strikes, has invited party leaders to a meeting in the House of Commons.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will address a meeting in Portcullis House (Victoria Jones/PA)

The 16-year-old Nobel Peace Prize nominee is expected to meet the leaders at around 11.30am on Tuesday before giving a speech at a meeting in Portcullis House at around 2pm.

Miss Thunberg, who has Asperger’s, told an XR protest in London that the world is now facing an “existential crisis”, blaming politicians for years of inaction.

On Easter Monday, at least 100 protesters laid down under the blue whale skeleton at the Natural History Museum in a stunt organisers called a “die in”.

Some protesters, wearing red face paint, veils and robes, remained to give a performance to classical music on the steps beneath the skeleton.

Extinction Rebellion protesters lying down inside the Natural History Museum (Laura Parnaby/PA)

The Metropolitan Police said 1,065 people had been arrested in connection with the demonstrations by 10am on Monday, while 53 of those had been charged.

Olympic gold medallist Etienne Stott was one of the activists arrested as police moved to clear Waterloo Bridge on Sunday evening.

The London 2012 canoe slalom champion was carried from the bridge by four officers at around 8.30pm as he shouted about the “ecological crisis”.