Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests continued today (September 2) as the environmental group marched through central London.
The protesters were seen gathered outside the Tate Modern art gallery at around 11.30am earlier today, and they then marched over the Millennium Bridge towards St Paul’s Cathedral into the City of London .
The march came to a halt outside the Bank of England at 1.15pm where there is a busy six-road junction. The protesters then sat down on the road, surrounded by a heavy police presence.
A police helicopter also circled the protest overhead whilst dozens of officers and vans closely monitored the group, though XR continues to encourage Londoners to “bring your love and nonviolence” to the protest.
Several connecting roads have been severely disrupted and buses have been forced to divert around the bank until the protesters leave.
XR is a global environmental movement hoping to raise awareness about the urgency of the climate crisis.
The group has been staging protests across the capital since last Monday, August 23, in the run up to the UN Climate Change Conference which will take place in Glasgow this autumn.
These protests are part of an initial two-week demonstration of so-called “mass civil disobedience” but an XR has said it will hold sites until the government agrees to immediately halt all public investment in fossil fuels.
The protests have caused massive disruption across the capital over the past 11 days, including blocking major roads and junctions.
One member of XR at the protest, who wished to be known only as J, said: “If we’ve inconvenienced your day, good! That’s the point of what we’re doing and it’s all for the greater good really.”
Another protester, 64-year-old Nancy Brooks, said she travelled in from Surrey to attend multiple XR protests this week: “People want to know what XR is all about and what our aims are but it’s clear.
“We want the government and the banks to start taking the climate crisis seriously.”
As of last night, the Metropolitan Police announced they have made 481 arrests so far in connection to the protest.
One protester, who wished to remain anonymous, told My London she had already been arrested earlier in the week but is willing to be arrested again for the XR cause.
MyLondon’s brilliant new newsletter The 12 is packed with news, views, features and opinion from across the city.
Every day we’ll send you a free email at around 12pm with 12 stories to keep you entertained, informed and uplifted. It’s the perfect lunchtime read.
The MyLondon team tells London stories for Londoners. Our 45 journalists cover all the news you need – from City Hall to your local streets.
Never miss a moment by signing up to The 12 newsletter here.
“Everyone can and should join us. There’s no excuse not to,” she said.
The current two weeks of planned action is the climate justice group’s first major protest since its Autumn Rebellion in September last year.
Protests are planned to continue at least until the end of this week.
What do you think of the XR protests? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
For all the latest London news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here !