Arrests spiral at Extinction Rebellion occupations

A crowd of protesters yesterday gathered in Hyde Park as they prepare to conduct a series of demonstrations in the capital

Thousands of people blocked four well-known London landmarks on Monday - Waterloo Bridge, Marble Arch, Parliament Square and Oxford Circus - to demand urgent action over the escalating ecological crisis.

A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said: "Ordinary citizens, terrified by the threat we all face to our future, will risk arrest and imprisonment by blocking bridges, roads, harbours and transport systems".

Most were detained on suspicion of public order offences while five people were held on suspicion of criminal damage at Shell's headquarters.

"In Europe, out of Europe, it makes no difference if we have no liveable habitat", he said.

Reuben James, a 21-year-old Engineering student at Cardiff University, said he usually "wouldn't be against" getting arrested, but he had an exam in two weeks.

The London protest is just one of 80 across the world in 33 different countries, according to organisers.

Police had ordered protesters to confine themselves to a zone within Marble Arch, a space at the junction of Hyde Park, the Oxford Street main shopping thoroughfare and the Park Lane street of plush hotels.

As part of Extinction Rebellion's protests the group has been trying to get arrested as much as possible because they think it will help with their demands. A police officer on the bridge said the Met could impose limits on assembly if they felt there was a serious risk of disruption or to public order.

London Metropolitan Police issued a public order act as of Monday evening, which means that protesters should leave the scene when they are asked to.

Fox said the protesters attached themselves to vehicles and to each other using bicycle locks.

"We are mindful of the impact the demonstrations are having on the local communities and are working hard with partners including TfL to keep London moving and open for businesses and visitors alike. If we don't do anything to change this, our children will die". They also temporarily blocked Piccadilly Circus.

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