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Extinction Rebellion protests: Roads closed after climate activist scales Parliament’s walls, as group threatens to target Tube network

More than 1,400 arrested over nine days of protests 

Emma Snaith,Chris Baynes,Zamira Rahim
Tuesday 15 October 2019 17:35
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Protester scales parliament fence during Extinction Rebellion demonstration

Extinction Rebellion insists its “international rebellion will continue” and plans to target the London Underground after activists were ordered to stop their protest in London immediately or face arrest.

It comes after hundreds of activists blocked streets around the City of London in an effort to cause “maximum disruption” and demand urgent action on the climate crisis.

Flouting police instructions, this morning the group’s co-founder Gail Bradbrook climbed the entrance to the Department for Transport in Westminster while other activists glued themselves to the building.

Protesters have also been arrested after blocking the road outside the headquarters of MI5.

One demonstrator briefly scaled a fence by the Houses of Parliament, only to be removed shortly afterwards.

Parliament Square was closed while the operation took place.

Meanwhile, the group is planning to take the police to court after it banned Extinction Rebellion protests from London in a move human rights groups have condemned as “chilling and unlawful”.

Anti-Brexit barrister Jo Maugham QC claimed the move was a “huge overreach” of police powers, human rights lawyer Adam Wagner called it “draconian and extremely heavy-handed”, and Allan Hogarth from Amnesty International said it was “unacceptable”.

”This ban is completely contrary to Britain’s long-held traditions of policing by consent, freedom of speech, and the right to protest,” said Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary.

The climate protests are set to continue for several more days.

Extinction Rebellion said demonstrators “apologise to all those who may be affected by [Thursday’s tube protests] but this is an emergency”.

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If you would like to see how Tuesday’s protests unfolded, please see what was our live coverage below:

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Hello and welcome to The Independent's rolling coverage of Extinction Rebellion's protests.

emma.snaith15 October 2019 09:45
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Police ban London protests 

Last night, the Metropolitan Police issued a ban on Extinction Rebellion's London protests. 

In a statement, police said demonstrators protesting in the capital from 9pm that evening could be arrested. 

The force said this was to "prevent serious disruption to the life of the community".

By this morning, activists were cleared from Trafalgar Square where many had lawfully congregated for the past week.

emma.snaith15 October 2019 10:01
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Co-founder Gail Bradbrook climbs Department for Transport building 

This morning, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion Gail Bradbrook climbed the entrance to the Department of transport and lightly hit the glass with a hammer. 

Other activists glued themselves to the building to demand the government stop funding "destructive" projects such as the new high-speed rail route HS2 and airport expansion.

Gail Bradbrook was removed from the building with a cherry picker and has now been arrested, the group said.

Co-founder gail Bradbrook sits on top of the entrance to the Department for transport (Henry Nicholls/ Reuters) 

She said: I do this in fierce love of the 108 ancient woodlands threatened by HS2, this climate crime of a project.

Imagine the good we could do with HS2's anticipated cost to rapidly accelerate towards our demands to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

If the Government is serious about plans to meet the net zero target they need to stop funding destructive projects such as HS2 and airport expansions."

Gail Bradbrook is removed from atop the doorway into the Department of Transport (Reuters/ Henry Nicholls) 

emma.snaith15 October 2019 10:15
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Extinction Rebellion banned from London after targeting city workers 

Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, with officers moving in to clear demonstrators from Trafalgar Square and the capital’s financial district.

Scotland Yard warned activists they faced arrest and prosecution unless they halted the peaceful climate change action by 9pm on Monday, in a change of police tactic which observers claimed could be unlawful.

Read Chris Baynes report here:

emma.snaith15 October 2019 10:20
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Caroline Lucas: 'Police action in Trafalgar Square is huge over-reach of police power'

In response to police clearing all activists in Trafalgar Square overnight, Green MP Caroline Lucas tweeted: "Police action in Trafalgar Square is huge over-reach of police power - there's a right to peaceful protest in this country."

emma.snaith15 October 2019 10:25
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Protesters glued on to Department for Transport removed 

A police officer outside the Department for Transport confirmed that all protesters had been removed from the scene.

He said no-one had been glued to the building.

A police officer guards the entrance to the Department for Transport after Extinction Rebellion protesters were removed from the building 

Police tape surrounds much of the main entrance to the department's offices, with Extinction Rebellion messages still stuck to it. Workers are still able to enter the building.

A series of dents and a long crack can be seen on the window next to where Gail Bradbrook was standing before her arrest.

emma.snaith15 October 2019 10:40
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Extinction Rebellion to target MI5

Extinction Rebellion are planning to block roads outside M15 this morning "to highlight threat to security from food shortages".

Protesters will hold a feast in the middle of the road at around 11am, organisers said. 

Read Harry Cockburn's report here:

emma.snaith15 October 2019 10:45
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Arrests soar to 1457

Nearly 1,500 Extinction rebellion activists have been arrested as of this morning, police said. 

emma.snaith15 October 2019 10:55
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Extinction Rebellion 'installation' pops up outside Tate Modern

A collection of blocks printed with Extinction Rebellion symbols has been put up overnight outside the Tate Modern. 

 

emma.snaith15 October 2019 10:58
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Police chief says protest ban imposed after 'continued breaches' of conditions 

Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor said the protest ban was brought in after “continued breaches” of a condition limiting the demonstration to Trafalgar Square.

He said: This was an operational policing decision to help us get London moving again.

"After nine days of disruption we felt it is entirely proportionate and reasonable to impose this condition because of the cumulative impact of these protests.

"A significant policing operation continues and we will take robust action against anyone engaged in unlawful protests at locations targeted by Extinction Rebellion.”

emma.snaith15 October 2019 11:06

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