MPS braces for 10 days of climate change protests

Extinction Rebellion is to hold 10 days of demonstrations across central London as part of its ongoing campaign to highlight climate change.

Sep 1, 2020
By Website Editor

The Metropolitan Police Service has already imposed conditions against protests planned for Tuesday (September 1), stating gatherings can only take place off the main roads at Parliament Square Gardens between 8am and 7pm.

But the environmental campaign group has planned for marches to be held at several landmarks in the capital, before moving to Parliament Square in Westminster and Trafalgar Square.

Various stunts are due to take place between now and September 10, including a “theatrical” display highlighting “how the climate crisis is causing death”, and a silent protest outside Buckingham Palace.

It comes as Extinction Rebellion protesters staged demonstrations across England over the weekend, including at a number of airports against proposed expansion plans.

Three women were also arrested following a protest in Brighton on Saturday, with specialist officers called to escort down demonstrators who had scaled the West Beach cafe on the seafront.

Planned events in London over the coming days include the “carnival of corruption”, which is due to take place outside the treasury, and the “walk of shame” near the Bank of England.

Police said no boats, vehicles, trailers or other structures may form part of the procession at any point on its route on Tuesday.

“Failure to comply with these conditions may result in arrest,” a police spokesperson said.

MPS commander Jane Connors said: “Ahead of a number of planned environmental protests due to take place in central London we have decided to impose conditions under Section 12 and Section 14 of the Public Order Act (1986) on protesters looking to assemble, and those looking to go on a procession.

“The reason we have implemented these conditions is that we know these protests may result in serious disruption to local businesses, commuters and our communities and residents, which I will not tolerate.

“If you take part in tomorrow’s assembly or processions and knowingly fail to comply with these conditions, or incite others to fail to comply, you may commit an offence and may be liable to arrest.”

Last year, more than 1,700 arrests were made within Extinction Rebellion’s 10-day “Autumn Uprising”, which saw major disruption across the UK and large parts of central London blocked off.

The even cost the MPS more than £21 million with around £6 million spent on drafting in officers from 38 other forces and a further £3.5 million on overtime. Protests in April 2019 cost the MPS a furhter £16 million and saw more than 1,100 arrests.

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