Britain

Climate change activists glue themselves to govt building

Climate change protesters have been ordered to move to Trafalgar Square after they glued themselves to buildings during a second day of demonstrations in London.

Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters camped out in central London overnight and have now been ordered to move on or face arrest.

Police imposed a Section 14 order on protesters this afternoon, which means any assembly linked with XR's "Autumn Uprising" must be at Trafalgar Square and the pedestrianised area around the column only.

Earlier, officers had told those who camped out over night to move along, but demonstrators glued themselves to the Department for Transport building, a tactic used during similar protests earlier this year and deployed by climate change activists worldwide.

They also locked themselves to cars.

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Image: Protesters positioned themselves outside the Department for Transport

The new condition does not have time limit.

In a statement, Met Police said: "In order to impose this condition, the Met required evidence that serious disruption was being caused to communities in London.

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"The Met believes that this action is necessary in order to prevent the demonstrations from causing serious disruption to the community.

"Anyone who fails to comply with the condition is liable to arrest and prosecution."

The Metropolitan Police said they arrested 319 people yesterday, far more than the 122 arrests made on the first day of protests in April.

Boris Johnson has called the protesters "uncooperative crusties" and said they should abandon their "help-smelling bivouacs".

Despite being told to move on, many of the 200 or so protesters who camped out in Westminster have indicated they are willing to stay there longer.

A lorry blocks Marsham Street, outside the entrance to the Home Office, amid demonstrations by Extinction Rebellion (XR) in Westminster, London.
Image: A lorry blocks Marsham Street, outside the entrance to the Home Office

Mike Gumn, 33, from Bristol, an NHS manager, said: "I have a job, I have taken annual leave to be here.

"I'd rather be with my family.

"I want to make a statement that (the activists) are all different sorts of people from all different walks of life, not just people you would call hippies."

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Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters who have set up camp on Horseferry Road and Marsham Street in Westminster, London.
Image: Extinction Rebellion protesters have set up camp in Westminster

He added: "We will decide as a group when we are going to move, and we are not going to let police tell us when.

"I would not like to get arrested, but if that happens when I am exercising my right to protest and deliver a good life for my children, then I will take it on the chin."

One activist, called Rob, was locked to the top of a trailer parked in Trafalgar Square for 24 hours.

A member of the police discusses section 14 of the Public Order Act with protesters outside the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs , Marsham Street, during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest in Westminster, London.
Image: Police and protesters discuss the order to move from Horseferry Road

He said: "It's a story to tell my grandchildren.

"It's to show in a completely non-violent way that we're willing to disrupt what we call order now and business as usual. To highlight what needs to be done.

"We won't tolerate business as usual. We mean no harm to anyone we know we're inconveniencing."

People enter the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Marsham Street, passing police and protesters during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest in Westminster, London.
Image: Protesters outside the Home Office in central London
Police outside of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Marsham Street, during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest in Westminster, London.
Image: The protests are in their second day

The 28-year-old had both legs bike-locked to the roof and one hand glued on, and said he did not know when he would come down.

Protesters also include former Met Police detective sergeant John Curran, who was arrested when he protested in April, and is willing to be arrested again.

The 49-year-old guitar maker said: "Clearly there is some frustration (for the police) that they probably have better things to be doing, and I agree, but the responsibility for that must lie with the Government. Take action, and we won't have to be here."

The protesters are calling on the government to declare a climate and ecological emergency, to act immediately to halt wildlife loss, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2025.

They also want the government create a citizens' assembly on climate and ecological justice.

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