Eco protesters threat to flood capital with 30,000 activists during London Marathon weekend dubbed 'the big one'

18 April 2023, 20:30 | Updated: 19 April 2023, 08:26

Activists plan to step up disruption
Activists plan to step up disruption. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Eco protesters have threatened more disruptive protests if the Government does not meet its ultimatum.

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Extinction Rebellion said the Government was "on notice" and if it did not agree to start negotiations over two demands by 5pm on April 24 it would step up its campaign.

It comes ahead of "the big one", four days of action between April 21 and April 24 that will see more than 200 organisations protest outside Parliament.

Extinction Rebellion's Marijn van de Geer told a press conference: "From today, we are putting the Government on notice.

"They have seven days to agree to enter negotiations around these two demands or we will step up our campaigns in new and inventive ways, working towards a coalition unprecedented in size."

She said ministers have until April 24 "to agree to enter negotiations about the two collective demands that we have presented to them today".

They want to "end all new licences, approvals and funding for fossil fuel projects" and "create emergency citizens assemblies to lead on fair, long-term solutions to the most urgent issues of our time".

Extinction Rebellion threatened to step up its campaigning again
Extinction Rebellion threatened to step up its campaigning again. Picture: Alamy

She added: "If we don't get a response, at 10am on Tuesday April 25 Extinction Rebellion will build an unprecedented coalition, stepping up our campaigns in the weeks and months ahead along three pathways - that is to picket to stand in solidarity with the strikers, to organise locally and to disobey."

The campaigner also claimed that while 28,000 people have signed up to go to "the big one", which includes other organisations including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the PCS Union.

Read more: 'Your colleagues have blood on their hands!': Grand National protester battled desperate allergy to ‘protect’ racehorses

She said "the big one" will "be a period of connecting and music and dance but also it is a four-day coming together of over 200 groups with memberships totalling millions of people in this country and globally to decide what more radical action would look like for them".

She added: "So across these four days everyone will deliberate on what comes next if the Government refuses this major opportunity to engage with our demands, because we all agree the clock is ticking for every human and non-human alive today and none of us should and will sit quietly while time runs out."

Activists have caused mass disruption in months of campaigning
Activists have caused mass disruption in months of campaigning. Picture: Alamy

It comes after eco protests and animal rights demonstrations targeted sporting events this week.

Animal rights activists tried to disrupt the Grand National at Aintree but police and security hauled them off.

A total of 118 activists were bailed after the action, with one trainer blaming them for a horse's death by saying the protest caused the animal to get agitated.

Then on Monday, a Just Stop Oil climbed onto a snooker table during the World Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield, throwing an orange substance over himself.