Thousands of Extinction Rebellion activists march on London as sun shines


Thousands of Extinction Rebellion activists march on London as sun shines… after meagre turnout over damp and dismal bank holiday weekend

  • Protesters waved banners including ‘Make Earth Great Again’ as they marched in large numbers down Mall
  • There was limited social distancing among the climate activists although many were wearing face coverings 
  • There are also rallies taking place in Manchester and Cardiff as part of two-weeks of coordinated action  

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At least five Extinction Rebellion activists have been arrested as protesters massed in London today to call on the government to take urgent steps to tackle change as they kicked off two weeks of controversial large-scale action.

Protesters today waved banners including ‘Make Earth Great Again’ as they marched in large numbers down the Mall – with limited social distancing despite current Covid restrictions. 

The rallies in Parliament Square and in Cardiff and Manchester come after protests planned for earlier in the year were cancelled due to the spread of the coronavirus. 

There were limited XR protests yesterday, including outside banks in Essex over the financial industry’s investment in fossil fuels, but few activists turned out.  

Protesters today waved flags and banners as they marched in large numbers down the Mall – with limited social distancing despite current Covid restrictions, although many wore masks 

One of the group's activists being carried away by mask-wearing police during the protests in central London today

One of the group’s activists being carried away by mask-wearing police during the protests in central London today 

This woman smiled as she was carried away by Met Police officers after she was blocking a road by Parliament Square

This woman smiled as she was carried away by Met Police officers after she was blocking a road by Parliament Square 

Another woman is moved away by officers during the first major protests on what XR says will be a two-week campaign

Another woman is moved away by officers during the first major protests on what XR says will be a two-week campaign

Police speak to a woman pretesting near Parliament. She is wearing an Extinction Rebellion logo on her t-shirt

Police speak to a woman pretesting near Parliament. She is wearing an Extinction Rebellion logo on her t-shirt 

Protesters held banners including 'Make Earth Great Again' while another read 'the only thing we should be burning is safe' in an apparent reference to the government's Covid advisory group

Protesters held banners including ‘Make Earth Great Again’ while another read ‘the only thing we should be burning is safe’ in an apparent reference to the government’s Covid advisory group 

Demonstrations also took place at St Peter's Square in Manchester, where banners bore slogans including 'planet over profit'

Demonstrations also took place at St Peter’s Square in Manchester, where banners bore slogans including ‘planet over profit’ 

MPs returned to Westminster today after a summer recess, and protesters are lobbying them to support a ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill’ and a citizens’ assembly to discuss new approaches to tackling climate change.

‘The government is failing to do what’s necessary to keep people safe. We are here, taking action, because their criminal negligence is putting lives at risk,’ the group said on its website.

‘We refuse to be bystanders and wait for this emergency to push beyond the point of no return.’

Last week organisers said that other ‘institutions of power’ would be targeted in the coming days, adding that they would encourage protesters to respect social distancing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

MPs returned to Westminster today after a summer recess, and protesters are lobbying them to support a 'Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill' and a citizens' assembly to discuss new approaches to tackling climate change. Pictured are protesters in London

MPs returned to Westminster today after a summer recess, and protesters are lobbying them to support a ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill’ and a citizens’ assembly to discuss new approaches to tackling climate change. Pictured are protesters in London 

Last week organisers said that other 'institutions of power' would be targeted in the coming days, adding that they would encourage protesters to respect social distancing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

Last week organisers said that other ‘institutions of power’ would be targeted in the coming days, adding that they would encourage protesters to respect social distancing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

Many of the banners in London included references to Prime Minister Boris Johnson - who today defended his climate record

Many of the banners in London included references to Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who today defended his climate record 

Police have placed restrictions on where protestors could gather and said they must follow the rules or be liable to arrest.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that climate activists should be ‘jumping for joy’ at the government’s climate record, and today said new policy announcements would be made in the autumn.

‘From this crisis we will build back better in this country, we will build back faster and we will build back greener,’ Johnson told senior ministers ahead of a cabinet meeting.

‘And there will be a lot to more to come about the way in which this government is going to lead a new green industrial revolution for the UK.’

Police have placed restrictions on where protestors could gather and said they must follow the rules or be liable to arrest. Pictured are protesters in Manchester

Police have placed restrictions on where protestors could gather and said they must follow the rules or be liable to arrest. Pictured are protesters in Manchester 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that climate activists - seen here in London - should be 'jumping for joy' at the government's climate record, and today said new policy announcements would be made in the autumn

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that climate activists – seen here in London – should be ‘jumping for joy’ at the government’s climate record, and today said new policy announcements would be made in the autumn

A woman in St Peter's Square, Manchester, carrying a sign criticising banks for continuing to fund the fossil fuel industry

A woman in St Peter’s Square, Manchester, carrying a sign criticising banks for continuing to fund the fossil fuel industry 

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