Extinction Rebellion Climate Activists Block Roads, Stage Protests Worldwide

Henrietta Brewer
October 8, 2019

London police on Saturday raided a building Extinction Rebellion activists were using to store supplies ahead of a climate demonstration planned for Monday, a preemptive action environmentalists condemned as an unlawful crackdown on a peaceful protesters.

In London, police arrested 135 activists from the Extinction Rebellion group as they blocked bridges and roads in the city centre, and glued themselves to cars, while protesters in Berlin halted traffic at the Victory Column roundabout.

On Monday morning, demonstrators in the United Kingdom capital had blocked bridges and roads in the Westminster area near Britain's Houses of Parliament.

London police say they arrested members of the group as they blocked Victoria Embankment, outside the Ministry of Defense. Tobias Eule says the number appears quite high and supposes it may well be meant to motivate those already in the group: "As a rule, protest movements tend to be successful when they can set down strategically important public markers and then force legal changes through the courts, administrators, or the legislature".

The movement is running a "spring rebellion" to pressure the Australian government into declaring a climate emergency. "You know, we only get one planet, and so we're here to try and defend it".

On Monday an estimated 20,000-30,000 people attempted to shut down central London including the streets surrounding the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square.

Val Harvey said: "I'm 81 years old and I've been on an ecological and environmentalist journey for a long time".

Thirty people were charged with committing offences in Sydney after hundreds blocked a road, while more than 100 were arrested in Amsterdam.

Protesters will be lying down in traffic lines on the Bloor Street Viaduct to show that major disruptions are inevitable if society fails to act on climate change. Some were seated, some chained to a barrel. Extinction Rebellion activists are also taking to the streets in Berlin and Paris, among other places.

At least one protester, seen waving a green flag, climbed on top of the famous bull statue.

There was a heavy police presence on the Dartmouth side of the bridge for the protest, which forced many commuters to take alternate routes during the morning rush hour.

Police did not say whether the protesters who were arrested will face charges.

According to Brett Ruskin for CBC, police have begun leading protesters away in handcuffs, as they are placed in transport vans.

They also aim to shut down roads and stage a sit-in at London City Airport, among other demonstrations. More than 1,000 activists were arrested, of whom 850 were prosecuted for various public disorder offences.

It is a widely-distributed network made up of cells in cities all over the world and is backed by Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage activist who made global headlines with a blistering attack on global leaders at the United Nations in September.

Other reports by iNewsToday