Three climate change activists charged over obstructing a train during London protests

Clay Curtis
April 19, 2019

Almost 300 people have been arrested in ongoing climate change protests in London that brought parts of the British capital to a standstill, police said Tuesday.

Extinction Rebellion spokesman James Fox said the group had attempted to maintain a blockade overnight at four sites in central London before the police came to impose the new restriction.

Extinction Rebellion is calling on the United Kingdom government to fulfil three demands - to better inform the public about climate change, to make the country carbon neutral by 2025 and to create a citizens assembly model on environmental issues.

"A lot of police will be taken from boroughs outside London and we know from past experience that when that happens crime goes up, and here we are in the middle of a knife crime crisis", Lord Stevens said.

Heathrow Airport said it was working with police to address threats of protest that may disrupt the airport.

In order to attract attention, the protesters are deliberately trying to get themselves arrested - more than 200 arrests have been made during the demonstrations in the last three days.

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The pace of reduction in emissions called for by Extinction Rebellion is far faster than that urged by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which a year ago recommended they be cut to zero on a global basis by 2050.

The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, said more than 1,000 police had been deployed to deal with each day of demonstrations in the capital, as he urged officers to use the "full force of the law".

Campaigners want governments to declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025, halt biodiversity loss and be led by new "citizens' assemblies on climate and ecological justice".

However, police said they were limited in the action they could take as the protests were disruptive, rather than violent.

Extinction Rebellion co-founder Gail Bradbrook said "more people are joining us all the time".

Extinction Rebellion (XR) demonstrations have been taking place at Parliament Square, Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch this week - with organisers saying protests will continue for a fortnight and could expand to include Heathrow Airport.

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