2 may 2021

Extinction Rebellion
Nine arrests in London as climate activists glue themselves to bridges

Hundreds take part in individual Extinction Rebellion acts in protest against lack of government action

Clea Skopeliti, The Guardian, Sun 2 May 2021

Nine people were arrested on Saturday, including activists who glued themselves to bridges in London in protest at a lack of government action two years after parliament declared a climate emergency.
‘I’ll continue to fight’: the prosecuted Extinction Rebellion protesters
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The wave of “rebellion of one” protests on Saturday, organised by Extinction Rebellion (XR), involved hundreds of activists who blocked roads by sitting alone wearing signs expressing their fears about the future.

Earlier on Saturday police shut Tower Bridge to southbound traffic after Morgan Trowland, 38, attached himself to the crossing.

Trowland, a civil engineer from Hackney, east London, told PA Media: “I’m terrified that billions will die because of the climate crisis, humans and non-humans. I’m freaking out that many people are accepting this, or feel powerless to change the course. I want to show onlookers that we each have phenomenal power.”

Another protester blocked a street in Nottingham while donning a sandwich board reading: “I’m terrified by the horrors that my son will have to endure because of the climate crisis.”

Protests took place in towns and cities across the country, including Nottingham, Birmingham, Oxford, Bradford, Newcastle and Swansea.

The nine arrests related to Extinction Rebellion protests in London were in various parts of the city, including on Tower Bridge, Westminster Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, and in Clapham, Haringey, Bromley, Tower Hamlets and Lambeth.

XR said in a statement that the government was moving too slowly on cutting emissions, citing multiple reports finding the UK will miss its targets unless ministers take immediate action.

Announcing its May Day action, the group said: “Rebellion of one fits right in with the tradition of Workers’ Day: coming together dispersed but united in the name of climate & environmental justice.”

The rebellion of one movement is inspired by a Russian activist who blockaded traffic by stepping out on to a multi-lane highway near Moscow, the campaigning group said.

XR’s action coincided with more than 40 protests against the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill which also took place on May Day, mainly focused in London.

The proposed legislation would expand police powers in England and Wales, allowing them to curb protests they deem too noisy or a nuisance, with those convicted liable to fines or jail terms. The bill was drawn up partly in response to protests by XR and Black Lives Matter.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The right to protest is a cornerstone of our democracy, but over recent years we have seen an increase in the use of disruptive and dangerous tactics.”

He added: “These new measures will not stop people from carrying out their civic right to protest and be heard, but will prevent large scale disruption – enabling the silent majority to get on with their lives.”

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