280 arrested in first day of Extinction Rebellion London ‘shutdown’

Arrests come as Green Party co-leader addresses protestors.

280 protestors were arrested yesterday, as Extinction Rebellion kicked off its two-week “shutdown” in central London. 

The Metropolitan Police said that the arrests follow a further 11 detentions relating to the protest over the weekend for of suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and suspicion of obstructing police.  

Protestors today successfully blocked key routes into Westminster, including Westminster Bridge and Whitehall. Lambeth Bridge and Trafalgar Square where also blocked, while Embankment was closed down this morning by activists who attached themselves to cars before being removed by police.

The protests in London have been joined by activists around the world, with thirty arrests in Sydney and fifty people detained in Amsterdam, according to reports. Protests are also ongoing in Dublin, Paris, Berlin and Wellington, among others.

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley earlier addressed protestors on Lambeth Bridge. Bartley said: “We have got rising inequality, we work more hours than we have worked before, we are still reliant on fossil fuels. We stand on the brink of environmental catastrophe that does not bear thinking about.

“We have now [got] the movement that could bring about the change that we want to see […] It is the movement of the people that changes agendas.”

Bartley joined a string of high profile figures taking part in the protest including actor Mark Rylance, environmental writer George Monbiot, model Daisy Lowe and actress Juliet Stevenson.

Those arrested today join will join around 1,300 people that have been arrested in actions around the UK since October 2018, according to Extinction Rebellion’s own figures.

The group says that of the 5,612 people in the UK that will take part in direct action with Extinction Rebellion, 3,705 have indicated that they are willing to be arrested, while 3,326 have signalled they would be prepared to go to prison.

An earlier version of this article—accurate as of 15:00—said that 148 arrests had been made today in relation to the Extinction Rebellion protests.

Joe Evans is a freelance journalist and editor. He is on Twitter: @joeevanswrites

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One Response to “280 arrested in first day of Extinction Rebellion London ‘shutdown’”

  1. Tom Sacold

    These people have nothing to do with socialism or the interests of British workers.
    They are anarchists and middle-class poseurs.

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