More than 300 arrests made during Thursday's XR protests in London

3 September 2020, 23:13 | Updated: 4 September 2020, 00:07

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

More than 300 arrests were made during Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests in central London on Thursday which saw Lambeth Bridge closed to traffic.

The Metropolitan Police said more than 200 of those taken into custody were linked to the demonstration on the bridge.

Thursday's demonstrations mark the third day of climate change protests in the capital which have seen more than 500 people arrested so far.

Some protesters glued themselves to the ground around Parliament earlier in the day, while elsewhere near the parliamentary estate - including at the iconic Carriage Gates - a separate group staged a sit-in.

A number of XR supporters said they "jumped the barriers and ran past armed police to glue (themselves) on to the floor outside the House of Lords".

In a separate demonstration, by XR's ally Animal Rebellion, some activists glued themselves both on the roof of and inside a pink slaughterhouse truck parked sideways across nearby Victoria Street.

Read more: Extinction Rebellion kicks off bank holiday with 'regional rebellions'

Read more: 'Thousands' of police to be deployed as XR plans disruption

A protester being carried away by police on Thursday
A protester being carried away by police on Thursday. Picture: PA
Some activists glued themselves on top of a pink slaughterhouse truck
Some activists glued themselves on top of a pink slaughterhouse truck. Picture: PA
Demonstrators marched through central London on Thursday for a third day in a row
Demonstrators marched through central London on Thursday for a third day in a row. Picture: PA

The campaigners said they were demanding "a plant-based food system as a means to mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis and reduce the risk of future pandemics".

Demonstrators have previously used fake blood in their protests and their activism is due to continue on Friday.

However, the Met has imposed conditions meaning the gatherings can only take place off the main roads at Parliament Square between 8am and 7pm.

XR is demanding that the government declares a climate and ecological emergency, reduces greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2025 and establishes a "citizens' assembly on climate and ecological justice".

The group is undertaking 10 days of planned action.

160 arrests were made on Tuesday - the first day of protests - for offences including breaching public order conditions, obstructing the highway, obstructing police and assault on an emergency worker.

A further 72 people had been arrested as of 5pm on Wednesday, the majority for breaching conditions imposed on the Parliament Square demonstration.

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