471 Extinction Rebellion protesters arrested in two days

8 October 2019, 10:30

Extinction Rebellion protesters dance in Trafalgar Square
Extinction Rebellion protesters dance in Trafalgar Square. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

A total of 471 Extinction Rebellion protesters have been arrested in the first two days of the group's 'shut down' of London.

Police said 152 arrests had been made today, bringing the total to 471.

Police told protesters today that that all protests must take place around Trafalgar Square and any splinter actions would result in arrests.

Scotland Yard said: “"Any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion 'Autumn Uprising'…who wish to continue with their assembly MUST go to Trafalgar Square and only assemble in the pedestrianised area around Trafalgar Column.”

“Anyone who fails to comply with the condition is liable to arrest and prosecution,” Scotland Yard said

Extinction Rebellion protesters glued themselves to government buildings earlier today in the latest action as part of their two-week London 'shutdown'.

Protesters also glued themselves to doors of the lobby to the Home Office in central London.

Specialist police teams are using syringes filled with acetone to unstick them. It came as police said 319 people had been arrested since the start of the protests yesterday.

Follow all the latest developments LIVE here

The activists were blockading the Home Office this morning and were demanding to be told what the plans are for dealing with a climate emergency.

Police officers have read their Section 14 Order to protestors
Police officers have read their Section 14 Order to protestors. Picture: PA

Police have put a Section 14 notice in place, which was handed out to tents at around 7.30am meaning the activists are only allowed to demonstrate in a specified location, Trafalgar Square.

However, activists say they will keep protesting around government buildings.

Westminster Bridge, Lambeth Bridge, Trafalgar Square and Smithfield market as well as several roads in Westminster are being blockaded by activists, with a focus on the areas around parliament in an attempt to force politicians to heed their warning.

Activists have been vlogging the protest on social media
Activists have been vlogging the protest on social media. Picture: PA

The protests continue after more than 200 people were arrested yesterday.

About 200 protesters camped on the streets of central London on Sunday night for the second day of the campaign group’s planned two-week shutdown of the heart of the capital in protest against the lack of action to tackle the climate crisis.

Protesters who spent a first night camped out in Westminster to draw attention to climate change have been ordered by police to move on or face arrest.

Many of those who blocked Horseferry Road overnight were warned they will be arrested unless they move to nearby Trafalgar Square, as police seek to avoid a second day's disruption which saw parts of central London virtually cut off to traffic.

Around 200 protesters are thought to have camped in tents overnight on Horseferry Road and the surrounding area.

It came after Boris Johnson described the protesters as "uncooperative crusties", and called on them to abandon their "hemp-smelling bivouacs".

But many said they were prepared to stay in their makeshift camp.

Activist Mike Gumn, 33, from Bristol, camped overnight wearing a suit and a flat cap to show the protest "is for everyone".

Mr Gumn, an NHS manager who has two children aged two and three, told the PA news agency: "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."

On being arrested, he said: "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 in his 20s added: "They (police) came round and told us that we should be moving on. I don't think we are going to move on.

"It's not a risk if you know you're going to be arrested.

"It's something I'll do if I need to.

Another young activist added that there was no pressure from the movement to protest in a particular way.

"Just because you're being arrested doesn't mean you do or don't support Extinction Rebellion any more than the next person," she said.

"There are people within this group that support this group very much and they won't be getting arrested, but they support everybody."