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Extinction Rebellion: 92-year-old arrested as climate activists prepare for 'Hong Kong-style' occupation of airport

Boris Johnson’s father praises group and says he is proud to call himself an ‘uncooperative crusty’ 

Emma Snaith
Wednesday 09 October 2019 19:12 BST
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Climate strike protests in London

Extinction Rebellion protesters have vowed to carry out a "Hong-Kong style" occupation of a London airport as they continue two weeks of demonstrations demanding urgent government action on the climate crisis.

More than 200 protesters were arrested on Wednesday, bringing the total number of arrests to 800, including a 92-year-old man, after they blockaded 12 key sites around Westminster.

Police officers issued a public order notice on Tuesday stating that anyone linked to the protest must go to the pedestrianised area at Trafalgar Square or risk arrest.

Following the notice, a pink octopus sculpture was kettled by police after it was spotted in Whitehall and subsequently marched back to Trafalgar Square.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson's father praised Extinction Rebellion and said that their work is "extremely important" less than two days after his son labelled them "uncooperative crusties".

Speaking at an event held by the group in Trafalgar Square, Stanley Johnson said: "I'm showing up here because I think what they [Extinction Rebellion] are doing is extremely important.

"From tiny acorns, big movements spring. We have been moving far too slowly on the climate change issue."

At the same time, hundreds of mothers breastfed and bottle-fed their babies during a mass "nurse in" outside the QEII centre near Parliament Square.

Lorna Greenwood, 32, who organised the event, said: "We're bringing the youngest lives who will be affected by the climate crisis to the heart of Westminster."

Stanley Johnson speaks to a crowd of Extinction Rebellion activists at Trafalgar Square (AP)

Hundreds of additional police officers from every force in England and Wales will come to London to help the Met handle the Extinction Rebellion protests, police chiefs confirmed.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said thousands of officers were currently working long hours in challenging conditions.

"They have managed so far to secure the bridges and clear the arterial routes through London, and thereby minimise disruption," she said.

More than 80 tonnes of equipment being used for the protests in central London had been seized so far, including tents, portable toilets and generators.

Police kettle giant pink Octopus in bizarre Extinction Rebellion protest scenes

Ahead of the group's planned occupation of London City airport tomorrow, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said the police have plans in place to intervene and "deal proactively" with anyone who has the intention of shutting down the airport.

Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in 23 cities around the world, including Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Sydney, and are calling for urgent action on the climate and environmental crises.

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