11 arrests as Extinction Rebellion protesters block London's Tower Bridge

30 August 2021, 15:09 | Updated: 31 August 2021, 08:52

Extinction Rebellion protesters have blocked Tower Bridge after descending on London on Monday
Extinction Rebellion protesters have blocked Tower Bridge after descending on London on Monday. Picture: Alamy Live News

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Eleven people were arrested on Monday after Extinction Rebellion protesters descended on London, blocking Tower Bridge for several hours.

It comes after 34 people were held over protests on Sunday as part of the climate activist group's "Impossible Rebellion".

The fifth wave of mass disruption by the group is expected to last all this week and is geared towards demanding the Government divests from fossil fuels.

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The Metropolitan Police said some of the protesters were using "complex lock-ons" at Monday's protest at Tower Bridge, and that specialist removal teams were at the scene.

The force earlier warned of disruption at the bridge, saying: "Officers were on scene almost immediately. We are working with @CityPolice to get traffic moving again.

"Activists are also laying on the junction north of Tower Bridge, this is causing further disruption."

XR added on Twitter that the "world's most famous bridge is blocked".

Officers later said that protesters would be arrested if they did not move on.

In a tweet, the Met said: "We'll be warning those protesting that this obstruction of roads is unreasonable and they must disperse. If they do not move, they may be arrested."

Another post added: "Officers are now engaging with the group and have begun warning those that refuse to move that they may be arrested."

As well as blocking the Tower Bridge with vehicles, activists also lay on the ground near the London landmark to protest against government investment in fossil fuels.

Demonstrators were seen at the end of the bridge wearing aprons emblazoned with Tell The Truth and with teapots with Deniabilitea written on them.

Activists also staged an overnight protest at the Science Museum due to the tourist hotspot's partnership with oil giant Shell on an exhibition called Our Future Planet.

Hundreds of protestors have gathered at the iconic bridge in central London
Hundreds of protestors have gathered at the iconic bridge in central London. Picture: Alamy Live News

The group has planned two weeks of action in London, with demonstrations expected across the city every day.

There have been protests and lock-ins in Leicester Square, Covent Garden and outside Buckingham Palace, where the Victoria Memorial was vandalised.

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On Saturday, hundreds of Animal Rebellion protesters - which is an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion - descended on Smithfield Market.

They gathered both inside and outside the market in Farringdon, campaigning against animal cruelty.

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