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Extinction Rebellion protests: More than 500 arrested as police order activists to stop occupying central London

Environmental protesters glue themselves to Home Office as others 'reforest' parliament 

Emma Snaith
Tuesday 08 October 2019 18:13 BST
Climate strike protests in London

More than 500 Extinction Rebellion protesters have been arrested in London as they continue two weeks of demonstrations demanding urgent government action on the climate crisis.

Organisers have blockaded key sites in central London including Westminster Bridge, Trafalgar Square and the roads outside Downing Street with some gluing and chaining themselves to roads and vehicles.

Animal Rebellion, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, has also shut down Smithfield Meat Market by replacing butchery stalls with organic fruit and vegetables.

It comes as Boris Johnson dismissed Extinction Rebellion as “uncooperative crusties” who should stop blocking the streets of the capital with their “heaving hemp-smelling bivouacs”.

If you want to read how the Extinction Rebellion protests happened live, please see what was our live coverage below


Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the Extinction Rebellion protests. 

emma.snaith8 October 2019 10:32

Number of arrests soars to 319 

The Metropolitan Police confirmed 319 Extinction Rebellion activists had been arrested as of 9.30am on Tuesday. 

emma.snaith8 October 2019 10:37

Boris Johnson calls activists 'crusties' in 'hemp smelling bivouacs' 

Boris Johnson attacked Extinction Rebellion activists,  dismissing them as “uncooperative crusties” who should stop blocking the streets of the capital with their “heaving hemp-smelling bivouacs”.

Mr Johnson also said that Margaret Thatcher was "green and revolutionary" long before Greta Thunberg at the launch of the third volume of Charles Moore’s official biography of the former prime minister.

emma.snaith8 October 2019 10:48

Road blocks remain in place 

Millbank, Whitehall and Parliament Square are still closed in both directions, TFL said. However, Lambeth Bridge has reopened in borth directions. Westminster Bridge has also reportedly been cleared. 

emma.snaith8 October 2019 10:57

Animal Rebellion activists shut down Smithfield Meat Market

Animal Rebellion, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, has shut down Smithfield Meat Market by replacing butchery stalls with organic fruit and vegetables. 

Activists occupied the market overnight with a candlelit vigil and set up tents where they camped overnight. A banner which reads ‘Fruit and vegetable market’ has been placed at the top of the building.

Isabel Infantes/AFP via Getty Images

Isabel Infantes/AFP via Getty Images 

Stalls usually filled with fresh meat have been replaced with fruit and vegetables.

emma.snaith8 October 2019 11:26

Protesters glue themselves to Department for Transport and Home Office

Meanwhile, Extinction Rebellion activists have glued themselves to to the Department for Transport and the lobby of the Home Office. 

It comes after many from Extinction Rebellion blocked Horseferry Road overnight, where the DfT is based. 

Jonathan Brady/PA Wire 

Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Jonathan Brady/PA Wire 

emma.snaith8 October 2019 11:38

Animal Rebellion moves to Westminster

It looks like protesters are leaving Smithfield Meat Market after occupying the site overnight, as Animal Rebellion asks activists to move to Westminster.  

emma.snaith8 October 2019 11:47

'Boris Johnson, we know you love us'

Extinction Rebellion has responded to Boris Johnson calling the group "uncooperative crusties", saying the comment "makes us smile"/ 

They claim a group of activists brought the prime minister to tears when they sang to him outside Chequers last week.

emma.snaith8 October 2019 11:55

Royal Parks Half Marathon urge protesters not to ruin race 

Ahead of the Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday, organisers of the event have asked Extinction Rebellion to allow runners to take part safely in the race. 

Organisers explained how the half marathon raises nearly £50m for over 1000 charities. 

In response, Extinction Rebellion said they "will do all that we can, the royal parks run is important to us and we support you.”

emma.snaith8 October 2019 12:09

Hearse continues to block Trafalgar Square

The hearse blocking one of the roads into Trafalgar Square remains in place after the driver attached himself to the steering wheel with a bicycle lock. Other activists also chained themselves to the wheels of the car. 

One man who lay locked to the wheel of the vehicle had a picture of his two children placed next to him as he laid his head on a pink pillow. 

The previous occupants have since been replaced with new activists. 

Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty 

emma.snaith8 October 2019 12:24

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