Climate Change Protestor Defends Shutting Down London

Extinction protest

Extinction protest Credit Reuters

Today the Extinction Rebellion movement took their protests to London and across the world.

Earlier this month, activists exposed the "naked truth" on climate change by stripping in the UK's House of Commons.

Some members of the group glued themselves to doors at the headquarters of Shell on Embankment. They also temporarily blocked Piccadilly Circus.

Last November, Extinction Rebellion forced Westminster, Lambeth, Waterloo, Blackfriars and Southwark Bridges in London to close, issuing a statement that read, "Extinction Rebellion demands that the United Kingdom government immediately tells the truth and declares a climate and ecological emergency, that it reverses inconsistent policies and reduces to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and creates a citizen's assembly to oversee these changes". Police arrested 85 activists that day and organizers say they expect further arrests on Monday.

On Monday morning, a group of demonstrators with trees, plants and solar panels in tow barricaded Waterloo Bridge, one of five locations being targeted by environmental campaigners in the city as part of the protest.

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These are central London landmarks protesters are targeting as part of efforts to demand the Government declares a climate emergency. In the letter, they warn they would escalate their disruptive actions over the coming days and weeks unless the government acts. "We must act now".

Police advised people travelling around London in the coming days to allow extra time for their journey in the event of road closures and general disruption.

"In London, people are willing to be arrested and to stay".

Rowan McLaughlin, 47, a teacher, said this week's protests were more important that the huge pro and anti-Brexit protests in London recently.

"We respect the right of everyone to express their point of view, we only ask that they do so with their safety and the safety of others in mind", a Shell spokeswoman said by email. "We're just going to get bigger and more annoying until the government speaks to us".

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