Pressure group vows to fight on despite ban

LONDON: Activists from the environmental pressure group Extinction Rebellion defiantly vowed to continue their planned two-week campaign of demonstrations in central London yesterday, despite a police ban.

The group announced it would press ahead with a protest at the Department of Transport, calling for it to “stop funding destructive projects immediately… and explain their plan to meet net zero emissions”.

Gail Bradbrook, one of the group’s co-founders, glued herself to the building, it said, adding on Twitter: “Normal #ExtinctionRebellion activities have been resumed.”

The move comes after police on Monday evening outlawed activists from assembling in a designated site in Trafalgar Square after a week of disruption.

Extinction Rebellion, which is protesting what it says is government inaction over climate change, said it would leave the site but keep up its action.

It vowed to hold a “massive food sharing feast” and block the road outside Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, MI5, to “highlight food security” from 11 am (1000 GMT) Tuesday.

“Extinction Rebellion will let the Trafalgar Square site go tonight,” it said in a statement. “The International Rebellion continues.

“The climate and ecological emergency isn’t going away and we remain resolute in facing it.”

The Metropolitan Police had earlier notified protesters that they would be arrested if they remained in Trafalgar Square.

Nearly 1,500 Extinction Rebellion activists have been detained since the group began its latest demonstrations on October 7.

“Any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion ‘Autumn Uprising’ must now cease their protest(s) within London,” police said.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor added: “Officers have begun the process of clearing Trafalgar Square and getting things back to normal.

“The policing operation continues, and we will continue to take action against anyone engaged in unlawful protests at locations targeted by Extinction Rebellion.”

British media reported a number of arrests took place after some protesters refused to leave the site, gluing themselves to the ground.

Those detained included a Green Party member of the European Parliament, Ellie Chowns.

“We were given notice — just a short time ago — that this square is no longer allowable for peaceful protest… This is intolerable,” she said on Twitter before being detained. – AFP