• Monday, Aug 19, 2019
  • Last Update : 01:16 am

Arrests at London climate-change protests top 1,000

  • Published at 05:47 pm April 22nd, 2019
London-Climate change activists
Climate change activists wait for Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg to speak during the Extinction Rebellion protest at Marble Arch in London, Britain April 21, 2019 Reuters

Police said 1,065 people had been arrested in connection with the protests, and they had charged 53 with offences including obstructing the highway

The number of environmental campaigners arrested during eight days of direct action in London topped 1,000 on Monday, police said, adding that Waterloo Bridge, one of the sites blockaded by the protests, had re-opened to traffic.

Swedish teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg on Sunday urged hundreds of climate-change protesters in London to never give up their campaign to save the planet as police arrests over disruptions to the city's landmarks.

Climate group Extinction Rebellion has targeted sites such as Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge in a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience with the aim of stopping what it calls a global climate crisis.

Police said 1,065 people had been arrested in connection with the protests, and they had charged 53 with offences including obstructing the highway.

Thunberg, a 16-year-old student, spoke to hundreds of activists at Marble Arch, one of a number of London landmarks that have been brought to a standstill over seven days of direct action. Police were allowing the protest to continue at the site.

"We are the ones making a difference - we the people in Extinction Rebellion and the children's School Strike for the Climate - we are the ones making a difference," she told cheering crowds.

"And we will never stop fighting, we will never stop fighting for this planet, for ourselves, our futures and for the futures of our children and grandchildren."

Thunberg inspired a movement of children against global warming when she took a stand in front of Stockholm's Parliament House last August with her "school strike for climate" sign.

Thousands of students around the world have since copied her, and the schoolgirl took her campaign to European leaders in Strasbourg on Tuesday and to the Vatican, where she met Pope Francis, on Wednesday.

London police said they had moved protesters from roads around Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Parliament Square, and they were working to re-open Waterloo Bridge.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said on Saturday that the protests had caused "miserable disruption". She said there were now 1,500 police officers, up from 1,000 previously, working to clear the roads.