Nearly 500 Extinction Rebellion Activists Arrested in First Week of London Protests

Police officers take away a climate activist from the Extinction Rebellion group during th
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

During the first week of protests in London from the radical climate change alarmist group Extinction Rebellion (XR), nearly 500 activists have been arrested by the Metropolitan Police.

In the first eight days of the two-week-long “Impossible Rebellion” protests in the British capital, 469 green radicals have been arrested for various offences, according to the Met.

On Tuesday, approximately 200 Extinction Rebellion activists gathered on London Bridge, ten of whom locked themselves to a bus that they had brought along to the protest, shutting down traffic for hours.

In an exclusive Breitbart London video, XR activists were seen blocking off a major intersection of Central London last Monday.

The climate change activists constructed a giant 4-metre table in the middle of the road in Covent Garden, with activists chaining themselves to the structure.

While police initially took a hands-off approach through most of the day, 52 activists were eventually arrested in the evening and the structure was eventually dismantled the following morning.

Smaller protests have continued through the rest of the week, including pouring fake blood throughout the City of London to symbolise Britain’s banking hub’s connections to the historical slave trade and allegedly man-made climate change.

On Tuesday of last week, activists attempted to block off traffic in Cambridge Circus, using lock-on devices to tie each other together as well as to street furniture.

A Met Police spokesman said per the Evening Standard: “Removing these lock-on devices is not impossible, but it takes time. In addition to the caravan blocking Tower Bridge and the blue van blocking the approach on Mansell Street, protesters also lay down on the junction to Tower Bridge.

“We have the tools to remove these lock-ons. We see many comments and questions asking why this work can’t be quicker and use more direct tactics.”

“While we understand the public’s frustration, we must consider the safety of everyone involved – including our officers. This work is painstaking but we work as quick as we can.”

Some social media users celebrated police for acting fast to prevent another makeshift structure from being constructed on the road on Monday. While XR has developed fast-moving tactics where unmarked vehicles are used to rapidly deploy protests and objects to block traffic, police were witnessed by bystanders to move in quickly to prevent the structure from being completed, all in a matter of seconds.

The stricter clampdown on Extinction Rebellion may have come in response to a recent report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, which found that the credibility of the police force’s reputation could come into question if it was perceived to be policing protests in a biased fashion.

“We found that the police too often do not find the balance between protecting the rights of the protesters and preventing excessive disruption to daily life, which even peaceful protest can sometimes cause… police don’t always do enough to assess the impact that peaceful protests have on the lives of local residents and businesses.

“So this has sometimes caused enormous disruption and it’s tipped the balance in favour of the protesters,” the HMICFRS report said.

Between 2019 and 2020, Extinction Rebellion protests are believed to have cost the taxpayer over £50 million in policing costs.

While Extinction Rebellion believe their protests will herald a better world, so far it appears to be ushering in a less free one. The disruptive tactics from the group have been used as an excuse by Home Secretary Priti Patel to introduce new draconian police powers on the right to protest in Britain, prompting concerns about the future of freedom of speech and assembly throughout the country.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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