News World Thousands of activists block London roads to demand action on climate change

Thousands of activists block London roads to demand action on climate change

Thousands of environmental activists paralysed parts of central London on Monday by blocking Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge in a bid to force the government to do more to tackle climate change.

Under sunny skies, activists sang songs or held signs that read “There is no Planet B” and “Extinction is forever” at some of the capital’s most iconic locations. Roadblocks will continue night and day at each site and the demonstrators say the protests could last at least a week.

The protests are being led by the British climate group Extinction Rebellion and will involve demonstrations in 33 countries around the world over the coming days.

“I realised that signing petitions and writing letters was not going to be enough. Real action is needed,” said Diana McCann, 66, a retired wine trader from south London, holding a banner in the middle of a traffic-free road. “It’s like a world war. We have to go on to a war footing.”

Extinction Rebellion, which generated headlines with a semi-nude protest in the House of Commons earlier this month, has warned its members that some of them could be arrested for taking part in non-violent civil disobedience.

The group is demanding the government declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and create a citizen’s assembly of members of the public to lead on decisions to address climate change.

At the Shell building near the River Thames, two protesters scaled up scaffolding writing ‘Shell Knows!’ in red paint on the front of the building and three protesters glued their hands to the revolving doors at the entrance.

Activists said they smashed the glass of a revolving door and caused more than 6,000 pounds ($7,900) worth of damage. At least one person was arrested by police for criminal damage.

“EXTINCTION REBELLION”

At Oxford Circus, protesters unveiled a pink boat that says “TELL THE TRUTH” and on Waterloo Bridge demonstrators brought trees, hanging baskets and skate ramps.

The protest had a festive atmosphere, with many families in attendance, and a low police presence.

Extinction Rebellion wrote to Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday outlining their demands and asking for face-to-face talks, warning that they will escalate their disruptive actions over the coming weeks unless the government acts.

“Make no mistake, people are already dying,” the letter states. “In the majority world, indigenous communities are now on the brink of extinction. This crisis is only going to get worse … Prime minister, you cannot ignore this crisis any longer. We must act now.”

Organisers of the protests circulated legal advice to anyone planning to attend, requesting they refrain from using drugs and alcohol, and asking them to treat the public with respect.

London’s police have 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.

The disruption follows similar action last November when thousands of protesters occupied five central London bridges. Police arrested 85 people that day.

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

“In Europe, out of Europe, it makes no difference if we have no liveable habitat,” he said. “We’re just going to get bigger and more annoying until the government speaks to us.”

(Reuters)

Top Stories

One new Covid case with travel history

One person has tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 1005, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday, from a total...

Compulsory use of gloves by employees on way out

    The compulsory use of gloves by employees that was introduced as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus is to be scrapped,...

22-year-old sentenced to 13 years in jail for Nicosia manslaughter

The Nicosia Criminal Court handed down on Tuesday a 13-year jail sentence to a 22-year-old foreign national who had pleaded guilty to killing a...

House, car repair shop, storeroom damaged by fire

  A fire which broke out off the Ayii Trimithias and Anthoupolis road on Tuesday afternoon has left a trail of damage in its wake,...

Ministry publishes updated list of labs for Covid-19 tests

  The Health Ministry has published an updated list of private labs which have verified procedures for RT-RCR diagnostic tests, which is the only accepted...

Taste

How to make triandafillo ice cream, by UK Cypriot chef Loulla Astin

  Just in time for the scorching heat, UK Cypriot chef Loulla Astin has shared her recipe for refreshing triantafillo ice cream -- or as...

Cyprus sprouts with cream and prosciutto

In a big, deep frying pan, fry the prosciutto in the olive oil, on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic...

Pork burger with sundried tomatoes, mozzarella and anchovies

Mix all the ingredients together with the mince in a bowl, and combine well. Divide into 4 balls and form the burgers. Warm a griddle/pan...

Sheftalies

Wash the lamb cauls with plenty of cold water and let them settle in water and vinegar for a little while. Soak the bread crumbs...