Published: Tue, October 08, 2019
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Climate activists 'ought to be protesting outside Chinese embassy'

Climate activists 'ought to be protesting outside Chinese embassy'

London police said on Monday (Oct 7) they have arrested 21 climate activists at the start of two weeks of planned peaceful civil disobedience in London that will call for urgent government action to curb carbon emissions.

Climate change activists are gearing up for a week of protests in Australia and New Zealand and they expect to be arrested. They are telling us to panic.

Environmental campaigners from Peterborough are among those taking part in a huge Extinction Rebellion protest which is blockading Westminster today (Monday).

"Either we make history, or we're history", said Melanie Vautier, a university student who took part in the Wellington demonstrations.

Extinction Rebellion, the group behind the protest, plans to have its members lie down across the four lanes of road shortly after 8 a.m. ET. Activists are hoping for a similar impact in the USA, despite concerns over a more aggressive style of policing and an unsympathetic federal government, led by Donald Trump, that actively promotes fossil fuels and is regularly derisive of climate science.

The Extinction Rebellion movement is holding governments across the globe accountable for what they call "criminal inaction on the climate and ecological crisis".

By lunchtime, another 300 people blocked Berlin's central Potsdamer Platz, placing couches, tables, chairs and flowerpots on the road.

The group has already targeted a bridge in Nova Scotia and plans to protest in Vancouver, too.

They declared an emergency after the rebellion in April, and then we've seen like surprisingly little action.

Extinction Rebellion describes itself as an "international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social collapse".

Numerous demonstrators who splayed out at its hooves, like so many gored victims, also were taken away by police.

Ruth Ben-Tovim, an Extinction Rebellion spokesperson from Totnes who was on Lambeth Bridge this morning, told DeSmog: "Some people were trying to get through the cordon, so the police were pushing firmly back from that, and groups of officers did sweeps of arrests". A protest was also taking place in Kitchener on the Bridgeport Bridge.

The arrests came over "suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance", London Metropolitan Police said in a statement, giving the exact number of those held as 217 as of Monday evening.

Demonstrators playing steel drums marched through central London to kick off two weeks of activities created to disrupt the city. One activist climbed onto the bull statue and others staged a "die-in".

Almost 70 countries announced plans at a U.N. climate action summit last month to beef up their Paris pledges, but most major economies including the United States and China failed to announce stronger new measures. To avoid escalation, police did the arrests slowly person by person.

What exactly is Extinction Rebellion?

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