Extinction Rebellion's Trafalgar Square camp is CLEARED by police

Extinction Rebellion’s Trafalgar Square camp is dramatically CLEARED by police as ‘any assembly’ linked to the group is BANNED across London – with MEP among those arrested as officers move in

  • Plan to cripple Britain’s institutions has been stopped in its second week as police move in on protesters
  • Statement issued by Metropolitan Police warned protesters that ‘any assembly’ in London would be banned 
  • Extinction Rebellion shut roads and transport links around the Bank of England yesterday morning
  • Rainy morning saw fewer turn out than last week, after police arrested more than 1,400 in last seven days 

Extinction Rebellion protesters were dramatically cleared from Trafalgar Square in under an hour almost immediately after police banned ‘any assembly’ within London – as a Green Party MEP joins those arrested.

Hundreds of protesters blocked roads in the City of London yesterday in an attempt to use Hong-Kong inspired protests to cause maximum disruption to authorities, but the eight-day action was cut almost a week short by 9pm yesterday evening.

Metropolitan Police issued a statement warning ‘any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion Autumn Uprising’ to ‘cease their protests within London (Metropolitan Police Service, and City of London areas) by 9pm’.

At 11pm Trafalgar Square was almost completely cleared – in stark contrast to just an hour before when tents were still raised and crowds of protesters stood wearing their raincoats in the autumnal drizzle.    

Police arrest Eleanor Elizabeth Chowns, Green Party Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands, while clearing an Extinction Rebellion environmental activists campsite at Trafalgar square yesterday

Eleanor Chowns was arrested under Section 14 of the Public Order Act (1986) after she refused to leave the area while requesting justification for the removal of peaceful protesters

Green Party MEP Eleanor Elizabeth Chowns was spotted in a police van as she joined others who had been arrested for refusing to leave the area as officers waded in to prevent further disruption. 

The arrest was made under Section 14 of the Public Order Act (1986) after Chowns refused to leave the area while asking police why they were removing the protesters.  

Most protesters have already decamped to Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, south of the river, according to Extinction Rebellion. 

Until Monday night police had been directing demonstrators to Trafalgar Square as the only legal area for Autumn Uprising protesters to gather. 

Dozens of police officers lined up on Trafalgar Square from 9pm when the order was made to dismantle the camp


Officers tore down gazebos as part of the mass action to end the Extinction Rebellion protests on Trafalgar Square 

After police removed the remaining Extinction Rebellion protesters at around 11pm yesterday the square looked empty


Eleanor Elizabeth Chowns is pictured asking police officers why they were removing peaceful protesters ahead of her arrest

Police worked to remove a lock from an Extinction Rebellion protester during the operation in Trafalgar Square, London

Protesters’ possessions was piled up in the rain for those who had left it behind to come and collect during the operation

A lone man sits and waits on his possessions as other protesters leave the site. Police vans line the road behind him

Howard Rees, an XR spokesman who was at the scene, told the Guardian that police started clearing Trafalgar Square before even issuing the revised order to protesters. ‘They gave us the notification: “We have started clearing the square”,’ Rees said. 

‘It’s all peaceful. People for the most part are being given the opportunity to move their possessions.’

On Twitter, the London branch of Extinction Rebellion labelled the clear out ‘an emergency’ and an ‘outrage’ before demanding police ‘respect the law’.

‘Police are clearing peaceful protest in Trafalgar & Vauxhall. They are back-tracking on promises made &, MEPs say, in contravention of UK law, in the national square,’ it added. 

The protests were meant to continue on until Saturday, October 19, at 6pm but have now been cut five days short.

An Extinction Rebellion spokesman said: ‘The Climate and Ecological Emergency isn’t going away and we remain resolute in facing it.

‘We urge the Government and the authorities to join us in doing the same. We cannot do it alone. This is bigger than all of us.

The protests were meant to continue on until Saturday, October 19, at 6pm but have now been cut five days short

‘To rebels, this is a moment to pause and remember why we are here. Extinction Rebellion will let the Trafalgar Square site go tonight. The International Rebellion continues.’

The first Rabbi to be arrested in the UK was apprehended by police in Bank yesterday while he prayed and sang for the first day of the festival Sukkot.

He said: ‘It’s impossible, at least for me, to read the Bible of Prophets without recognising how much we’re rooted in the Earth, in social justice, in an awareness of the world around us, and, attempting to give all that we have on its behalf seems to me the highest calling towards God.

At 11pm Trafalgar Square was almost completely cleared – in stark contrast to just an hour before when tents were still raised and crowds of protesters stood wearing their raincoats in the autumnal drizzle

‘The highest principle is the saving of life, pikuach nefesh, there isn’t anything more that we’re doing here in Extinction Rebellion than being aware that millions, or hundreds of millions of people, already are at threat because of the changing climate, and if you add in future generations then … this is where we have to be. We have to work alongside those who are absolutely dedicated to trying to save life.’ 

Yesterday afternoon protesters planned to move along Fleet Street to the Royal Courts of Justice, to try and shut down the High Court and Court of Appeal.  

The group had set up training camps over the weekend as they tried to bring in reinforcements following more than 1,300 arrests last week. Today, the total number of arrested topped 1,400.

Amid heavy rain in London, the numbers of demonstrators seemed much depleted compared to last week.

Shower: Extinction Rebellion shut down roads around the Bank of England this morning as they attempt to push the chaos they are bringing to the capital

Attention-seekers: Extinction Rebellion’s so-called ‘Red Brigade’ were out in the square in front of the Bank of England

Soggy: Numbers of demonstrators were down from last week as downpours turned cardboard signs to mush

In the way: A young demonstrator glued his hand inside the revolving door of Barclays Bank in Canary Wharf

Removal: Large teams of police officers resumed their daily struggle of trying to arrest as many uncompliant protestors as they can. The current number of arrests is more than 1,400

Washout: Numbers of demonstrators was down from last week as rain swept into the capital yesterday morning

They borrowed the Bruce Lee phrase ‘Be Water’, which was used by the Hong Kong protesters, to describe constantly changing targets to out-fox police. 

This morning, dozens of activists sat or stood in the road as City workers left Bank tube station. 

In some surrounding streets traffic was brought to a standstill, with 20 double-decker buses queuing down Lombard Street and King William Street rendered stationary by the climate change protesters at Bank station.

The driver of the bus at the front of the queue said he had been there for two hours – since 7am – and protesters showed no signs of moving.

Protesters, sheltering under umbrellas, were holding aloft flags bearing the Extinction Rebellion logo, while drummers played. 

Activists covered themselves in a large green tarpaulin to protect against the rain.

Many were holding banners and placards bearing messages targeting financial institutions, such as ‘divest from climate change’ and ‘invest in soil not oil’.

Dave Evans, 32, an IT consultant from London, said he had taken two weeks unpaid leave to join the Extinction Rebellion protests. He said the finance sector needed to ‘stop funding the climate crisis’. 

Drain: Unhelpful protesters need up to eight officers each to arrest them, meaning forces in other parts of London struggle

Hands up: Police use a liquid to unstick protesters who have super-glued their hands together on the road

Wet: Some of the group crowded beneath a tarpaulin while others clutched umbrellas as they try to keep the movement going

Dead weight: A protester refuses to assist police, meaning it takes four officers to take him away to the police van

Police were warning protesters individually that they would be arrested under a Section 40 order for obstructing traffic if they do not leave the area.

Leading activists, such as people carrying drums and a woman with a megaphone, were led away by officers as the crowd cheered them on.

But by around 3pm yesterday, police seemed to stop making arrests. 

Around 30 activists started a yoga session at the crossroads by Bank. Hundreds more sat on the floor or stood around them. 

More than 1,400 people have already been arrested in the protests, part of an ‘international rebellion’ with action taking place in cities around the world.

In the UK, Extinction Rebellion is calling on the Government to declare a climate and ecological emergency, to act immediately to halt wildlife loss and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Extinction Rebellion said dozens of activists are expected to appear in court this week, including trials connected with previous action in April.

Fancy dress: A protester in a wig and decorated goggles is confronted by police near Mansion House this morning

Detained: Police moved in and warned activists to return to their camp in Trafalgar Square. Those who stayed were arrested

New target: The demonstrators are changing their targets in a bid to wrong-foot stretched police resources

Stubborn: Many had to be carried away when they were arrested, maximising the number of police needed

The Met Police’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said last week that the protests were stretching London’s police resources and hitting victims of real crime elsewhere in the capital.

He said on Friday: ‘Their behaviour still continues. They’ve deliberately set out to seek and cause chaos, they’re performing activity that makes it dangerous and slow for us to clear them.

‘And whilst were not anti-protest, we are against them repeatedly breaking the law and causing this really significant disruption and as the Commissioner said this morning, this isn’t a game for Londoners.

‘We have other things that we should be doing across London. We’ve had to take officers from those local communities and stop doing anything that’s is not critical or urgent towards business and that’s just not right.’

It comes as Scotland Yard’s top officer warned that the Met had been ‘stretched’ by the Extinction Rebellion protests, impeding its ability to respond to other crimes.

Dame Cressida said she hoped the protesters would choose to either ‘protest lawfully’ at Trafalgar Square or ‘go home’.

At around 4pm this afternoon, the roads around Bank and Monument stations were closed due to the protests

Protester dressed as a sprout of broccoli and 77-year-old rabbi are among the 1,400-plus now arrested

A protester was arrested yesterday while dressed as broccoli

A man dressed as broccoli was led away by police in connection to Extinction Rebellion protests in London on Sunday.

The man, who wore green face paint, a suit and a floret-style hat, had previously been seen holding a sign reading: ‘I’m locally sourced and environmentally friendly’.

Robert Greener, who was in Oxford Street on Sunday evening, tweeted a photo of the protester, with the caption: ‘A humble broccoli gets arrested on Oxford Stree’t.

A video posted online showed the man being handcuffed by three officers.

Another witness to the apparent arrest said on Twitter: ‘My fave thing [about] working on Oxford Street and whatever was happening today is getting to see a guy dressed as broccoli being arrested.’

Meanwhile, a rabbi was arrested after kneeling and praying in the middle of the road as part of the protests.

Rabbi Emeritus of Finchley Reform Synagogue, north London, Jeffrey Newman, who was accompanied by around 30 Jewish activists, was arrested at around midday on Monday in the middle of a busy junction at Bank in central London.

They joined climate change activists from Extinction Rebellion who have been obstructing five roads since 7am.

The 77-year-old, who was wearing a white skullcap branded with the black Extinction Rebellion logo, said: ‘I see it as my religious and moral duty to stand up for what I believe in, and what I care about, for my grandchildren.

‘I haven’t tried to involve the synagogue, because if you are asking for permission, you might not get it. I think it’s much more important to do what I’m doing, and they can approve or not approve at a later date.’

Mr Newman, who is also the adviser to the International Secretariat of the United Nations’ Earth Charter, a set of 16 principles for a sustainable global society, said he has been involved with global environmental movements for around 50 years.


Rabbi Jeffrey Newman joins protesters blocking the road outside Mansion House in the City of London

The rabbi, carrying a lulav palm frond and etrog yellow citrus which protesters said symbolise human connection with the earth in Judaism, said: ‘This has been something that I have been involved with since the 60s.

‘I am trying to get the Jewish community engaged with these issues. XR (Extinction Rebellion) Jews is a relatively new movement. Many of the younger people, the activists, have not had anything to do with the Jewish community for a long time.

‘And for the first time, they have discovered that there is a potential for meaning within Judaism, because of its connection with issues that they really are concerned about. I think this is phenomenal.’

Protesting on the second day of Sukkot, a week-long Jewish holiday celebrating harvest, his supporters sang Jewish hymns and carried signs reading ‘conservation is a mitzvah’ (meaning ‘religious duty’).

They circled the police van where Mr Newman was taken, waving banners and shouting about how the rabbi had been arrested to passers-by.

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said they could not comment on individual arrest cases.

More than 1,400 people have already been arrested in the protests, part of an ‘international rebellion’ with action taking place in cities around the world.

Extinction Rebellion said dozens of activists are expected to appear in court this week, including trials connected with previous action in April.

Blockage: The streets around the Bank of England were blocked by groups of people doing yoga, dancing and chanting slogans

Extinction Rebellion turn their attention to London’s businesses after week targeting government and transport hubs

Activists targeted BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, in London on Monday, demanding that the world’s major financial institutions stop funding what they describe as a looming environmental catastrophe.

Extinction Rebellion, which promotes revolt against established political, economic and social structures as a way to publicise its dramatic climate message, is in the middle of two weeks of civil disobedience in London.

Its activists thronged the financial heart of London on Monday, blocking streets around locations such as the Bank of England and BlackRock.

Police attempt to remove a protester from a business headquarters this afternoon as Extinction Rebellion targeted BlackRock

Protesters demonstrate outside the BlackRock headquarters in Throgmorton Avenue in London this afternoon

Activists glued themselves to the doors of BlackRock while others staged a mock dinner party with rolled-up banknotes on their plates, a Reuters reporter said.

‘The City of London is a preeminent nexus of power in the global system that is killing our world,’ said Carolina Rosa, spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion.

There was no immediate comment from BlackRock.

Extinction Rebellion wants non-violent civil disobedience to force governments to cut carbon emissions and avert a climate crisis it says will bring starvation and social collapse.

Critics say the group is proposing what amounts to the overthrow of capitalism without any clear idea of what would replace it, and that the world’s energy needs cannot be met without fossil fuels. 

 

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