Police drag XR protesters out of the road as they hijack Lord Mayor's Show

13 November 2021, 16:22 | Updated: 13 November 2021, 18:13

XR protesters block the Lord Mayor's Show in London

By Sophie Barnett

Police clashed with Extinction Rebellion protesters in London after they disrupted the Lord Mayor's Show.

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Footage shared on social media shows activists blocking the route of the parade on Saturday afternoon, forcing riders on horseback to stop and the new Lord Mayor's golden state coach to come to a halt.

A number of people have been arrested following the disruption of the parade - which dates to the 13th century and is the first official engagement of a new Lord Mayor.

A City of London Police spokesperson said officers engaged with the group to "minimise disruption" and a number of arrests had been made.

Despite the disruption, the parade eventually continued and Vincent Keaveny was sworn in at the Royal Courts of Justice as the 693rd person to hold the office.

Extinction Rebellion said the action was in response to the "failure" of COP26, and protesters dressed up wearing giant heads depicting Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, while others locked themselves together in the roads.

Read more: Sadiq Khan concerned Extinction Rebellion is 'driving people away' from cause

Read more: Eco protesters tell court they feel 'bullied' as £900k cost of blockades is revealed

Police dragged protesters out of the road.
Police dragged protesters out of the road. Picture: Alamy

Miranda Duncombe, a mother and member of the XR Families group, said: "Cop has failed to deliver the transformative changes needed to keep us at 1.5C of warming, a complete betrayal of our children.

"If the City of London was a country, it would be the ninth largest emitter in the world. The City's banks and asset managers provide loans and investments for the projects and companies that are killing us.

"I am here for my children's future. Our Government has failed to act to protect them. I'm calling for the City of London to divest from fossil fuels immediately for the children everywhere who are dying due to the climate crisis and those who will die in the future."

Read more: Husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ends hunger strike after 21 daysThe organisation said it was trying to deliver "the Children's Charter" to the Lord Mayor, which read: "We stand here the day after COP26, which has failed to bring about the action necessary to tackle the climate and ecological emergency, to call on you to prioritise the next seven generations above the short-term greed that focuses on wealth accumulation right here in the City of London."

The Lord Mayor of London serves as the elected head of the City of London Corporation and their terms last one year.

The 2021 procession included full-size model elephants, Japanese drummers, and a horse-drawn bus.