Extinction Rebellion: 40 more arrests made on day two of protests

24 August 2021, 12:57 | Updated: 25 August 2021, 06:08

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A further 40 people have been arrested at Extinction Rebellion protests in central London on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police said.

As of 5.30pm, the total number of arrests over the three days of activity by the protest group stood at 102, also including 10 on Sunday and 52 on Monday.

The Met said the arrests were for "a variety of offences".

Earlier, more than 10 protesters were seen being carried away by police after laying down on the road in central London.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) demonstrators that gathered outside the HM Revenue & Customs building were being led away by officers as the police tried to open up the road once again.

Officers were also seen trying to separate two men who were joined together with their arms inside what appeared to be a plastic pipe.

Another officer was using a circular saw to free two men who were joined via a wooden box structure.

Read more: Nine arrested after Extinction Rebellion protesters target Guildhall entrance

Watch: XR co-founder: Westminster 'doesn't seem capable' of tackling climate change

Down the road in Cambridge Circus, protesters have driven a van into the middle of the square.

Some 40 officers have gathered around the van while a police team appears to be investigating the hired vehicle, which has a demonstrator on top of it holding a flag that says "Stop HS2".

An XR protester said a number of people were locked on to the van after it drove in.

In a tweet, the Met Police said: "Officers are at #CambridgeCircus where a number of protesters have blocked a junction, including using lock-on devices.

"Officers are working to safely remove these individuals as safely and quickly as possible."

The crowd is gathered around the intersection of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road in an area known as London's Theatreland.

XR demonstrators are sat around the van as speakers continue to give talks about the climate crisis, including a small child who simply yelled "extinction!" while others chanted back "rebel".

The crowd parted to let a London Fire Brigade engine through and cheered after it.

A van has been driven into Cambridge Circus in central London
A van has been driven into Cambridge Circus in central London. Picture: Matthew Chattle/Alamy Live News

Yesterday more than 50 people were arrested after protesters blocked roads around the West End.

A giant pink table erected in the middle of central London by Extinction Rebellion protesters has been dismantled by police.

Segments of the four-metre structure were seen being carried off by men in hard hats and blue overalls on Tuesday as the activist group gathered in the capital for the second day of its planned 12-day mass protest.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police said officers had also removed chairs which the activists had glued themselves onto and had made "many arrests".

A spokesman for the force declined to give a running total of arrest numbers but said 52 people had been detained for a "variety" of offences as of 10:15pm on Monday.

Read more: 52 arrests on day one of fortnight of Extinction Rebellion protests

A giant pink table erected by XR protesters in central London has been dismantled by police
A giant pink table erected by XR protesters in central London has been dismantled by police. Picture: Alamy

A cordon was put in place in the tourist hotspot of Covent Garden, blocking off parts of the Long Acre junction with Upper St Martin's Lane.

Activists set up the large pink structure, which featured the words "come to the table", on Monday and it contained built-in lock-ons where protesters could attach themselves to make their removal difficult for police. It also had sleeping quarters and a stereo system.

Some demonstrators were pictured standing on top waving pink-coloured flares.

XR kicked off its Impossible Rebellion protests on Monday when demonstrators blocked roads in central London, including around Trafalgar Square, as they demanded the Government immediately end investment in fossil fuels that are driving climate change.

The Met said a "significant" operation would be in place for the protests over the bank holiday weekend but also acknowledged the activists' "important cause".

This story is being updated...