Extinction Rebellion climate change protest: 290 arrested as half a million people affected

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290 people have been arrested for taking part in ongoing climate change protests in London as police say the demonstrations are causing “serious disruption”.

The number of those detained surged to 290 on Tuesday evening after a police order came into force restricting protests to a site at Marble Arch.

Scotland Yard said demonstrations were banned in the Oxford Circus area of London.

However, groups still remain at other major sites including Waterloo Bridge, where 87 arrests were made on Tuesday afternoon after they were banned from that area.

Two arrests were made in relation to criminal damage carried out in the Lambeth area of London/

Speaking about the transport disruption, Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove said: “We so far have 55 bus routes closed and 500,000 people affected as a result.

“We are taking positive action against those who are choosing to ignore this condition and are continuing to demonstrate in other areas across London.”

Transport for London warned that some roads in Westminster and the West End remained blocked.

Mr Wingrove said: “Ongoing demonstrations are causing serious disruption to public transport, local businesses and Londoners who wish to go about their daily business.

“We have significant resources in place to deal with any incidents that may arise.”

Most of the arrests were for breaching the order instructing protesters to stay at Marble Arch.

Three men and two women were held on suspicion of criminal damage after protesters vandalised the energy company Shell’s headquarters on Monday.

Extinction Rebellion said it aimed to cause more than £6,000 of damage so they could be tried by a jury at a crown court.

The group confirmed more than 100 “brave rebels” had been arrested, some deliberately.

It tweeted that climate change protests took place in 33 countries on Monday, adding: “Day 2 starting, come and #RebelforLife.”

One of the protest organisers, Dr Gail Bradbrook, said: “The UN has given us until 2020 to change the course of humanity.

“If that doesn’t happen human extinction in my children’s lifetime is a possibility.

“People need to take their heads out the sand and look at the science and frankly panic and join us. It’s extremely frightening.”

She added that blocking bridges was necessary after other protests, marches and letters to MPs had achieved little.

“Nothing is being done of any real significance,” she said.

“Our demand is the government must tell the truth about the crisis we’re in. And that includes working with communities to build resilience.”

(c) Sky News 2019: Extinction Rebellion climate change protest: 290 arrested as half a million people affected

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