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Extinction Rebellion protests – Cops arrest 113 eco-warrior activists after demos at Oxford Circus and Waterloo spark rush-hour chaos

COPS have arrested 113 eco-warrior activists after demonstrators sparked rush hour chaos and trashed Shell's London HQ yesterday.

Protesters stormed the capital as they demanded the Government declare a climate emergency - with the demonstrations expected to continue today.

Met Police this morning confirmed 113 arrests in total had been made, with most over obstruction of the highway and breaching a public order act.

The number also includes three men and two women who were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after Shell HQ was daubed in paint and a glass door was shattered.

A spokesperson said: "Whilst a proportionate policing plan is in place to balance the right to a peaceful protest, officers are well trained to maintain public order and are ready to respond to any incidents that may arise."

It came after London traffic was forced to grind to a halt as the protesters blocked roads around landmarks yesterday.

Areas around Parliament, as well as Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge and Piccadilly Circus, were all targeted to create maximum disruptions.

The closure of the connection between South Bank and Victoria Embankment caused particular headaches for motorists with the protesters declaring: "We have taken Waterloo bridge!"

The group then set up pot plants and picnic blankets along the road, naming it a "garden bridge".

During the protests, Shells' revolving door was shattered after protesters glued themselves to the glass and daubed messages including "Shell kills" on the building.

Declaring it the "International Rebellion", organisers Extinction Rebellion said they would continue to disrupt to raise awareness for politician's "criminal inaction" to act on climate change.

The protests have also been organised across the world, including in Australia, Spain and Germany.

We have taken Waterloo bridge!

Protesters

Demonstrators were seen waving flags, beating drums and chanting as part of the movement.

Many were dressed in bright colours, even reciting poetry as part of the "creative" protest.

Women were also seen under cars, trying to attach themselves to the vehicles as part of the protest.

The "rebellion" could last for up to two weeks, with many arriving in London on Sunday.

The movement, which is demanding the Government takes urgent action on climate change and wildlife declines, has received support from actress and activist Dame Emma Thompson and former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams.

Environmental protesters stage protest on Waterloo Bridge and Oxford Circus as they try to bring London to a standstill

'PEACEFUL ACT OF REBELLION'

Organisers said: "The international rebellion begins and Extinction Rebellion will be bringing London to a standstill for up to two weeks.

"They will be blocking five of the city's busiest and most iconic locations in a non-violent, peaceful act of rebellion where they invite people to join them for several days of creative, artist-led resistance."

In a statement released last year, they added: "When Government and the law fail to provide any assurance of adequate protection, as well as security for its people’s well-being and the nation’s future, it becomes the right of its citizens to seek redress in order to restore dutiful democracy and to secure the solutions needed to avert catastrophe and protect the future.

"It becomes not only our right, it becomes our sacred duty to rebel."

A spokeswoman for The Royal Parks said Extinction Rebellion had not asked for permission to begin the protest in Hyde Park and that camping is not allowed.

But police said no arrests were made overnight after earlier explaining their operational response to camping "would be dependent on what if any other issues might be ongoing at the time".

Scotland Yard said they have "appropriate policing plans" in place for the demonstrations and that officers will be used from across the force "to support the public order operation during the coming weeks".

Police advised people travelling around London in the coming days to allow extra time for their journey in the event of road closures and general disruption.


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