Eco-luvvies Daisy Lowe, Ruby Wax and Juliet Stevenson join Extinction Rebellion | Daily Mail Online

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Thousands of climate change activists from Extinction Rebellion today caused chaos in London as they shut down key routes in the city on the first day of a fortnight-long campaign of disruption.

Onlookers suggested police were unable to cope with the huge numbers of protesters, joined eco-luvvies Daisy Lowe, Mark Rylance, Ruby Wax and Juliet Stevenson in Trafalgar Square as they shut down the landmark. 

For the next two weeks XR – which has posted details and maps of its planned disruptions in advance – intend to cripple the capital with 135 protesters arrested already since the protests began at 7am today. One senior member warned ahead of the protests that if police shut them down: ‘We have other plans that are more disruptive’.

Commuters vented their fury about long delays and miles of queues as they criticised the XR ‘hypocrites’ causing more pollution by forcing cars to sit idling, while others blasted the ‘nuisances’ who had ruined their journeys.

Today streets around Westminster were packed with police threatening to arrest anyone blocking roads – but witnesses said they were being swamped because of the number of eco-zealots gathering on streets and bridges.

One group locked themselves inside a car parked in the middle of Whitehall close to Downing Street and the Cenotaph – others chained themselves by the arms and head to a hearse parked in Trafalgar Square and glued themselves to scaffolding poles. 

It has become common for the detained protesters to be carried by police, because they try to cause maximum disruption by refusing to walk to the van – meaning it can take up to six officers for each arrest.  

Actor Mark Rylance joined Extinction Rebellion protesters in The Mall today where supporters of the environmental group invaded during the Changing of the Guard

Extinction Rebellion activists marking the ‘opening ceremony’ of their protest in Trafalgar Square were joined today by Ruby Wax, Juliet Stevenson and Daisy Lowe (left to right) 

Social media users have complained that the protesters were taking up huge amounts of police resources in London today

Police remove a protester from the Extinction Rebellion protest at Trafalgar Square in London this afternoon

Police carry away a protester by the arms and legs on Westminster Bridge, which was blocked by XR members including some doing yoga

On Millbank, outside the headquarters of MI5 in London, a group built a wooden house and climbed on top when the police attempted to pull it down

Police wearing abseiling safety equipment arrive to remove protesters from scaffolding in Trafalgar Square today

XR supporters pitched tents outside Westminster Abbey as they promised two weeks of chaos and gridlock to save the planet

Extinction Rebellion posted this graphic online before the protests began, showing where their intended targets would be

On one end of Lambeth Bridge protesters started to build a house before climbing on top when police tried to dismantle it while Smithfield Market, London’s largest meat market, was ‘occupied’ by 500 people starting with a minute’s silence for the dead animals there and around the world.

Describing the scene close to Westminster Abbey, one onlooker told MailOnline: ‘Half of them are smoking weed, have cheap fold up tents that will just get binned and there is a bunch sitting in Pret’. Others wearing XR badges and carrying XR flags were seen getting lunch in McDonald’s on Whitehall.

Daisy Lowe (second left) posed next to Big Ben with friends including actress Jaime Winstone (far right), popstar Eliza Caird, best known as Eliza Doolittle (centre right), and TV producer Emily Ann Sonnet (far left) today

TV stars were at the environmental group’s ‘opening ceremony’ under Nelson’s Column as thousands closed major bridges, blocked numerous roads and even invaded The Mall during the Changing of the Guard where Rylance helped carry a giant banner saying: ‘extinction or rebellion’.

Lowe posed next to Big Ben with friends including actress Jaime Winstone, popstar Eliza Caird, best known as Eliza Doolittle, and TV producer Emily Ann Sonnet who said: ‘Life is already extinct. It’s just a matter of saving what life we have left’.

Ministers are understood to be looking at whether protesters who damage parts of London can be held financially responsible. In an Extinction Rebellion stunt last week, fake blood was sprayed over the Treasury – although much of it ended up going back over the demonstrators themselves.

One government source suggested a mechanism could be bringing a civil action to hurt demonstrators ‘in their wallets’. ‘There is discussion about whether we can ensure they are bearing the cost,’ the source said. ‘Democratic protests is one thing, but you cannot wreck listed buildings.’

However, actress Juliet Stevenson called the protests ‘wonderful’, adding: ‘We can’t any longer allow governments to do this so we have to make it clear that there is no more time.

‘There’s a long tradition in this country of people saying governments are not acting, we have to make them realise how urgent this is.’

She told MailOnline that said she had been swayed to join the protests as she wanted a future for the planet and her four children. She siad she felt a duty to do what she could to help stop environmental damage and climate change.

Stevenson said: ‘My children are saying they are not sure they want to have children when the planet is in such danger. I have a one-year-old grandchild too and I want to help ensure all of their futures.’ We have 12 years before the planet is irreversibly damaged. The scientists have warned about it.’

An Extinction Rebellion environmental activist couple exchange rings, kiss and laugh with joy (left to right) after getting married at an action site they are calling The Beacon on Westminster Bridge

Police surround a group of XR people chained together outside Westminster Abbey today as they stop anyone joining them

Police wearing abseiling safety equipment and armed with acetone arrive to remove protesters glued to scaffolding at the Extinction Rebellion opening ceremony

xtinction Rebellion protesters create a blockade by lying outside of the Home Office building close to the Houses of Parliament

A climate change activist looks unperturbed and relaxed as six police officers carry him away from Trafalgar Square

Ms Stevenson, 62, star of the film ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’ praised the young activists who had decided to act and blamed herself and much of her own generation for not acting before.

Smithfield Market, London’s largest meat market, was ‘occupied’ by 500 people starting with a minute’s silence for the dead animals there and around the world

‘I was in Parliament and saw a plaque in honour of the suffragettes. In 100 years time these young people will be heroes too for what they are doing today.’

Tory MP Mark Pritchard said: ‘Climate change needs to be tackled, the government is committed to net zero emissions by 2050, a huge step forward.

‘But what are ambulances carrying critical patients supposed to do with roads blocked, bridges occupied & displaced gridlock all over central London?’

And Former Labour MP Ian Austin said: ‘Not content with preventing ordinary Londoners from getting to work on buses – including people on zero hours contracts who will lose pay – the Extinction Rebelion protesters are blocking the bike lane on Lambeth Bridge and standing in the one on Westminster Bridge.’ 

Activists say the protests could be five times bigger than those in April, which saw more than 1,100 arrests. They are part of an ‘international rebellion’, with action also taking place in Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam and New York.

Police had arrested 135 protesters by 12.30pm today as key traffic routes through Westminster faced major congestion today with buses diverted and the demonstrations expected to escalate over the next fortnight.  

Parliament Square was empty of traffic except for police vans and bicycles as helicopters circled overhead, while on Lambeth Bridge protesters started to build a house before climbing on top when police tried to dismantle it. 

Passionate vegan, 33, who walked out of the Big Brother house gets involved in vegan protest at Smithfield

A passionate vegan who wants the lifestyle to become mainstream walked out of the Big Brother house last year was today involved in a protest at Smithfield Market.

Kay Lovelle, 33, left the Channel 5 programme last October after repeatedly clashing with fellow housemates. She later admitted deciding to walk in the dead of night to avoid having to face the public.

Speaking to Sky News at Smithfield Market today, Lovell, who is protesting with Animal Rebellion, said: ‘We’re here to demand a complete system change, so to actually transition into a plant based food system.

Kay Lovelle, 33, spoke to Sky News today while she takes part in the Animal Rebellion protest at Smithfield Market this afternoon

‘As we now know, animal agriculture accounts for a huge, huge amount. And it causes really devastating impact on the environment, causing the whole climate catastrophe. It’s more than all of transport put together.

‘We can no longer deny the impact our diet has on our planet. We cannot escape this climate catastrophe if we don’t transition into a plant based food system. We are here to show our version of the future.

‘So we’re actually opening up a massive fruit and veg market. We’ve got a lot of incredible vegan meats and cheeses and plant-based vendors here. We’re not here to take anyone’s jobs, we’re not here to do anything like that. This is really very peaceful, non-violent.’

Kay Lovelle, 33, left the Channel 5 reality show Big Brother last October after repeatedly clashing with fellow housemates

Lovelle, an actress who has had roles in the likes of The Bill, Judge John Deed and Inspector Lewis, was born in Georgia and lived in Russia before moving to London as a child.

Speaking in the diary room before her exit from Big Brother last year, she said: ‘I just really feel that I’m going to be eaten alive. I don’t want to put myself through that because I will just be running for the fire exits. I just feel so trapped.’

The demonstrators, who are also planning processions, marches and a sit-in at City Airport, claim they are ready to face arrest, go to jail and go on hunger strike as they urge politicians to outline plans to tackle climate change. 

The arrests today are in addition to those over the weekend, with eight people arrested on Saturday – seven on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance, and the eighth on suspicion of obstructing police. All those arrested on Saturday have been released under investigation.

And yesterday one woman and two men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance. The woman has been released under investigation, the men remain in custody, the police said.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson is due to give a speech on Westminster Bridge at 6pm. But a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘People are entitled to protest peacefully but they must do so within the law. It’s essential that people can go about their business going to work, visiting families and using vital public services.’

In response to a video of a protester resisting arrest, National Crime Agency chief Lynne Owens tweeted: ‘Thinking of all my colleagues at Metropolitan Police. They should not have to endure this sort of behaviour.’

Model Daisy Lowe smiles while wearing a coat in the rain during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London

XR members invaded The Mall during the Changing of the Guard where Mark Rylance (circled) helped carry a banner saying: ‘extinction or rebellion’

A protester being arrested by police during the Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster this afternoon

Extinction Rebellion activists are seen jumping onto of a stationary van next to police on Westminster Bridge today

Environmental activists are seen removing bamboo from a van in morning traffic on Westminster Bridge in London today

Climate protesters put up tents as they block Millbank in Westminster today during the Extinction Rebellion protests

A man breakdances as climate change activists from Extinction Rebellion play instruments on Westminster Bridge today

Dozens of activists block Lambeth Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion climate protest in London this morning

An Extinction Rebellion demonstrator raises his hands as police move him while he tries to block Lambeth Bridge today

Extinction Rebellion protesters and police gather around an Enterprise van as they block Westminster Bridge this morning

Extinction Rebellion environmental activists try to remove bamboo from a van to create a site on Westminster Bridge today 

Climate activists from Extinction Rebellion lock together to stop traffic on Whitehall in Westminster this morning

Members of Britain’s Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ride their horses past climate change activists on The Mall today

On Lambeth Bridge today, protesters started to build a house before climbing on top when police tried to dismantle it

Extinction Rebellion said those arrested today included 81-year-old Sarah Lasenby, a Quaker and retired social worker from Oxford, who was part of efforts to block Victoria Embankment outside the Ministry of Defence this morning 

Protesters block the road during an Extinction Rebellion protest in outside the gates of Downing Street in London today

Police officers detain an activist at Lambeth Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

Activists block Lambeth Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

Police remove a giant sculpture on Lambeth Bridge in London this morning during the Extinction Rebellion protests today

The driver of a hearse, who has attached himself to the steering wheel using a bicycle lock, is pictured as his vehicle is used to block the road at the junction of Whitehall and Trafalgar Square during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London today

A protester is arrested on Westminster Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

XR protesters were also performing yoga on Westminster Bridge. Onlooker James Bickerton said: ‘Protesters on Westminster Bridge have lit an incense candle and got mats out for yoga. It’s all gone very rainbow rhythms.’

Meanwhile, demonstrators were lying under a trailer parked in the middle of the road at Trafalgar Square. Others stacked a pile of items including a kitchen sink, pans, and camp chairs beside them on the pavement.

This morning, activists gathered for their first protest on Victoria Embankment where they unfurled a banner on a human roadblock saying ‘XR Peace – For Earth, For All Of Us’ and held a placard saying: ‘Tell the Truth’.

XR protesters playing steel drums marched from Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square, and a 25-year-old teacher from London who took the week off to join the protests said: ‘The plan is to shut down the whole of London.

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Protestors performing yoga on Westminster Bridge during an Extinction Rebellion protest in the capital today

Police officers lead a man away in handcuffs as the Extinction Rebellion protests outside Westminster Tube station today

A protester wearing a gas mask on top of vehicles blocking the road in Trafalgar Square during the protest in London today

Police officers talk to protesters from Extinction Rebellion as they block the road in Westminster this morning

An Extinction Rebellion protester sits in a police van after being removed by police from the Embankment this morning

A man wears an anti-Trump T-shirt as a hearse is used to block the road at the junction of Whitehall and Trafalgar Square today

Extinction Rebellion activists blockade Trafalgar Square with a scaffolding tower during the protest in London today

Activists carry out yoga at Westminster Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

People distribute free food at Westminster Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London today

Extinction Rebellion protesters play cricket in Parliament Square in London today during the demonstration

‘The issue of climate change is an issue for everyone, and it’s clear we can’t leave it to the politicians. I booked the week off work for this. The school kids are out protesting too. Everyone is.’

Police are searching anyone suspected of carrying paint.

XR said protesters from the XR Peace group arrested as they blocked Victoria Embankment outside the Ministry of Defence included Sarah Lasenby, 81, a Quaker and retired social worker from Oxford. 

She said: ‘For 21 years my main concern has been to help get rid of UK nuclear weapons. I am still keen to do this but once I came across XR I was so relieved to have something I could do about the ghastly state we have got our planet in.’

She added: ‘The whole thing is so urgent that it is imperative the Government should take serious actions and put pressure on other states and Global Powers to radically reduce the use of fossil fuels even if this means we need to reduce our comfort at home and so much flying.’

Protesters were carried away by police officers on Horse Guards Road. An onlooker said he saw at least five people arrested after they refused to let a van through the road.

Video of the moment showed people being carried off to chants of ‘we love you’ from other protesters. Protesters also blocked Victoria Street were lying under a van while surrounded by police. 

This graphic from Google Maps shows the disruption caused to key traffic routes in Westminster by the protesters today

A protester lies beneath a trailer blocking the road in Trafalgar Square during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London today

Protesters with placards on Westminster Bridge during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

Activists from XR stand near tents in as they demonstrate in the road at the junction of Millbank and Lambeth Bridge today

The driver of hearse attaches himself to the steering wheel using a bicycle lock at Trafalgar Square this morning

A pair of protesters chained together at the neck on Westminster Bridge during an Extinction Rebellion protest today

A protester with an Extinction Rebellion flag protests by the Cenotaph in Whitehall this morning

Protesters from Extinction Rebellion block the road in Westminster as police start rounding up the activists today

Activists sit on the Tarmac as they block Lambeth Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

Activists block Lambeth Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

Older Extinction Rebellion protesters are arrested on Victoria Embankment on suspicion of obstructing the highway today

Climate activists from Extinction Rebellion begin their sit-in on Lambeth Bridge in London this morning

‘The Red Brigade’ activists take part in the Extinction Rebellion protest at Lambeth Bridge in London this morning

Police walk towards protesters on Lambeth Bridge in London this morning as the demonstrations gather pace

An onlooker said: ‘Looks like lots of mini protests rather than a centralised area, huge range of people – if anything mainly middle-aged people.’

XR protester Caroline Hartnell, 69, from London, said she will be attending the protests every day. She said: ‘This is the start of two weeks of action. We are going to be surrounding all the Government ministries.

‘We are going to be putting pressure on them what they are going to do mend the climate emergency, because we are running out of time. I have seven grandchildren and the youngest is three. I feel passionately for them (and worry) there is not going to be a world for them to live in.’

Oxford University student Fergus Green from St Albans was also amid the growing crowd of drummers, stewards and flag-waving protesters planning to ‘shut down Westminster’.

He said: ‘People are coming from all over the country. I’m here to force the Government to take action on climate change. I’m a student, I should be at uni – my term has started. But I’m here to take action. People are missing work and school to be here.’

Police managed to break into an Extinction Rebellion van on Westminster Bridge and arrested the driver. Onlooker James Bickerton said: ‘Protesters blocked Westminster Bridge with two vans and started building a stage. 

Climate activists sit in protest on Whitehall today as the Extinction Rebellion demonstrations continue

Protesters on scaffolding block the road during the Extinction Rebellion protest in Trafalgar Square today

Police officers detain an activist during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London this afternoon

An Extinction Rebellion protester plays cricket in Parliament Square in London today in an attempt to disrupt the capital

Protesters block Lambeth Bridge during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

Police officers detain an activist at Lambeth Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

Extinction Rebellion protesters carry out yoga this morning on Westminster Bridge this morning

Protesters stop traffic in Whitehall in Westminster this morning as they gather on the road with banners

Police officers detain an activist at Lambeth Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

Protesters begin a sit-in on Dean Stanley Street as climate activists from Extinction Rebellion begin their protest today

Protesters from Extinction Rebellion in Westminster this morning hold a banner saying: ‘Root 4 Trees’

Police hold a protester during an Extinction Rebellion demonstration in Westminster this morning

Demonstrators stand on a railing on Westminster Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster today

‘Police have broken into one van and surrounded the other (at least two arrests) but still a lot of protesters blocking the bridge.’

Victoria Embankment remained closed outside the Ministry of Defence.

And Victoria Street close to Westminster Abbey, and side roads by Methodist Central Hall, are being held by another group of protesters with banners that read ‘tell the truth’ and ‘no coal mines, no fracking’.

On the first day of the two-week international protest, XR protesters made their way to Whitehall waving ‘XR’ logo flags and marched with a steel drum band. 

People distribute free food at Westminster Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London today

Demonstrators play a game of cricket during an Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster today

Protestors perform yoga on Westminster Bridge during an Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster today

Protesters sit down on Lambeth Bridge as climate change activists gather to block access on roads in London today

A protester from Extinction Rebellion sits down behind a row of police officers on Lambeth Bridge in London this morning

Police officers detain an activist at Lambeth Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

A protester is arrested and led away by police on Birdcage Walk in Westminster during the Extinction Rebellion protest today

Extinction Rebellion protesters hold banners as they demonstrate in Westminster this morning

Protesters from the Extinction Rebellion group take part in a musical demonstration in Westminster this morning

Protesters from Extinction Rebellion lie on the ground as they block the road in Westminster this morning

Extinction Rebellion protesters are arrested on Victoria Embankment on suspicion of obstructing the highway this morning

Protesters said they plan to ‘shut down the whole of Westminster’ and surround the ministries.

Extinction Rebellion protesters spotted ordering at McDonald’s and drinking from disposable Pret A Manger coffee cups 

Extinction Rebellion protesters were spotted ordering food at a McDonald’s restaurant in Westminster today as the protests continued.

TalkRADIO presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer tweeted a photograph of the scene, saying: ‘Spotted in Westminster: Extinction Rebellion protesters queuing for lunch at… McDonalds. You. Couldn’t. Make. This. Stuff. Up. If. You. Tried.’

Extinction Rebellion protesters were spotted ordering food at a McDonald’s restaurant in Westminster today today

The protesters in the tweet, which received more than 3,500 likes, were mocked online – with one Twitter user saying: ‘Priceless. Mummy didn’t have any mung beans in to make Jocasta and Tarquin their packed lunch.’

Another said: ‘We must stop capitalism and cease all modern farming and industry practices! Right after I get my mass produced McNuggets…’

Other demonstrators were seen gathering outside a Pret A Manger on Great Peter Street in Westminster, with some spotted drinking from disposable coffee cups.

Two protesters have mounted a Land Rover and trailer at Trafalgar Square roundabout, one wearing a gas mask and trench coat and the other with an XR flag and a sign reading ‘stop ecoside’. Police surrounded the vehicle.

Police officers were photographed carrying away protesters, with one was cut out from a rig carrying a fake nuclear weapon saying ‘Trident – Immoral, obsolete, militarily useless’ near the Ministry of Defence.  

One tearful activist called Rowan compared the protesters to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, telling LBC radio: ‘I’m feeling quite moved at the moment because I’ve just been watching people being taken away.

‘It’s very moving seeing people giving their freedom and giving so much of their lives. Some of these people have been doing this for years, trying to raise the warning about climate change.

‘I really feel that this is their last chance to try to turn things around. If we don’t turn it around this time, that’s it. That’s it for the people in the future. 

‘I feel the legacy we’ve inherited from the people who have done non-violence civil disobedience in the past – people like Martin Luther King and Gandhi. They all fought for freedom and human rights and for the right for life on earth. They’ve handed the torch on to us.’

Police moved into remove the fake missile as protesters shouted ‘Tell the Truth’, and several chained themselves into a car along the Embankment before officers used cutting gear to remove the chains and arrest them.

Many of the protesters risked being arrested on suspicion of obstruction of the highway. The Highways Act 1980 states that ‘if a person, without lawful authority or excuse, in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage along a highway he is guilty of an offence’. 

Scores of colourfully dressed activists – and their children – gathered at Marble Arch this morning following an ‘opening ceremony’ yesterday to mark the biggest-ever occupation of the streets.

In the document titled Full Briefing For Swarming Actions, protesters are told they are ‘the bringers of hope’ and ‘will pry open the darkness to let the light in’ – even though they admit they will infuriate many Britons. 

‘We need to be aware that we’ll come under attack,’ it reads. ‘If the system is seriously threatened it will fight back.  The people losing profits will hate us. The media will demonise us. The people in the street may resist us.

Police speak to protesters from Extinction Rebellion who are blocking the road at Whitehall in Westminster this morning

Protesters locked together stop traffic on Whitehall in Westminster as police officers go in to arrest them this morning

Police carry away an Extinction Rebellion protester on the Embankment near the Ministry of Defence in London this morning

Police officers search a van loaded with items to be used in the Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

Activists hold a banner saying ‘This Is An Emergency’ as they block Lambeth Bridge during the protests in London today

Police officers speak to Extinction Rebellion protesters outside Westminster London Underground station in London today

Protesters gather in Smith Square outside the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs in Westminster today

Protesters begin a sit-in on Dean Stanley Street as climate activists from Extinction Rebellion embark on their protest today

On an XR broadcast group on Telegram where organisers give updates to protestors, they wrote this morning: ‘Today the international Rebellion is starting in 60 cities around the world. 

‘As the sun rises in London rebels arrive from across the country. Police may take our pillows or our gazebos. But we are everything we need. Maybe bring some water and waterproofs though!

‘We will continue to rebel until this Government act as if the truth is real. With truth, love and nonviolence. We will sit in the roads together today. With or without bean bags. See you in the streets. Extinction Rebellion.’

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘As of 8am on Monday, October 7 there have been a total of 21 arrests in connection with the Extinction Rebellion protests.

‘On Sunday, October 6 one female and two males were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance. The female has been released under investigation, the males remain in custody.

‘On Saturday, October 5 eight arrests were made. Seven arrests were on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance, while the eighth was made on suspicion of obstructing police. All those arrested on Saturday have been released under investigation.’

Secret plans seen by the Daily Mail have revealed tactics by XR to frustrate the police, cause ‘economic disruption’ and ‘take over’ government departments.

The group has warned its peaceful protest blockading Westminster would be five times bigger than those seen earlier this year – and could disrupt the Queen’s Speech. The protesters will issue an alternative ‘People’s Speech’ – which will be ‘based on the demands of the rebels on the streets’. 

Extinction Rebellion protesters play on drums as they demonstrate with music in Westminster this morning

Police remove a giant sculpture on Lambeth Bridge in Westminster at the start of the two-week protest this morning

Protesters begin a sit-in on Dean Stanley Street as climate activists try to bring chaos to the streets of London today

Extinction Rebellion protesters are cut out from a rig carrying a fake missile near the Ministry of Defence this morning

Police officers search a vehicle loaded with items to be used in the Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster today

Police officers gather around a Ford Focus to cut out protesters on Victoria Embankment in London this morning

Police officers cut through a chain in a car on Victoria Embankment today as the Extinction Rebellion protests get underway

Police officers obstruct Extinction Rebellion protesters in unloading a van with items to be used in the demonstration today

‘We might be called terrorists. We might cause people to go hungry. Parents will be late picking up their kids. We’ll cause people to struggle to pay rent.

‘We’ll cause people working on wonderful, progressive, healing art projects to have their cause set back and their art seen by no one. At the same time we need to hold the awareness that these things are occurring within an insane and suicidal system.’

But Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, who is the police chief in charge of dealing with the Extinction Rebellion protests, told LBC radio today: ‘The police’s role is to enforce the law.

‘Where behaviour is unlawful, and obstructing the highways for significant periods of time, or other behaviour that we anticipate, which is unlawful, we will deal with – and we will deal with robustly.’

Police officers detain an activist at Lambeth Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London this morning

A police officer speaks to an Extinction Rebellion protester in Westminster as he puts his hands up this morning

A police officer searches a van loaded with items to be used in the Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster today

Extinction Rebellion protesters set up a blockade on Victoria Embankment outside the Ministry of Defence in London today

Protesters chain themselves into a car along the Embankment today before officers used cutting gear to remove them

Protesters chained across the seats of a car are removed by the police on the Embankment in Westminster this morning

A protester puts her hands together as she sits in a police van after being removed by police from the Embankment today

Police remove the fake weapon saying ‘Trident – Immoral, obselete, militarily useless’ near the Ministry of Defence today

Extinction Rebellion activists pack up their tents in Hyde Park in London this morning before beginning their protests

Police officers stand on duty at Hyde Park in London this morning as the protesters plan to head towards Westminster

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It comes after the activists were able to spray nearly 400 gallons of organic water containing beetroot on the Treasury and themselves last week before at least 30 officers and 12 police vehicles arrived on the scene. 

Footage of the spray painting suggested there were no police on the scene when the incident began. A large cordon was later put place around the fire engine, which was bought on eBay for around £2,000 by activists.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned the disruption was ‘unlikely to win over hearts and minds and will do damage to the economy and people’s livelihoods’. He added: ‘I am concerned that it will potentially turn people against an important cause.’ 

The activists plan to shut down 11 roads around Whitehall. Some of the roadblocks will consist of about 20 cyclists who will hand out cupcakes to placate irate motorists.

The group compares the tactic to Genghis Khan’s ‘Mongolian light cavalry’. Their document advises calming drivers with remarks such as: ‘You’re really angry, I can see that – and you really want to be on your way, yeah?’

Thousands of activists from XR, pictured at Hyde Park this morning, are said to be ready to face arrest and go to jail

Protesters from Extinction Rebellion, pictured at Hyde Park this morning, are expected to bring chaos to the streets of London

Extinction Rebellion activists, pictured this morning, are planning to start two weeks of protests in Central London from today

Members of XR, seen at Hyde Park today, has warned its protest blockading Westminster will be five times bigger this time

Members of the climate group hug each other this morning ahead of the start of two weeks of planned action in London

Extinction Rebellion activists pack up their tents in Hyde Park this morning ahead of the protests starting in Central London

Activists, pictured at Hyde Park this morning, are planning to start two weeks of protests in Central London starting today

The protesters, pictured at Hyde Park in London, will issue an alternative to the Queen’s Speech, called the ‘People’s Speech’

Activists are pictured at Hyde Park in London this morning one day after an ‘opening ceremony’ at Marble Arch

The protesters, pictured at Hyde Park in London today, are planning to frustrate the police and cause ‘economic disruption’

Extinction Rebellion plans to hand out ‘bust cards’ informing protesters of their legal rights. It says that small-scale deployments are harder for police to ‘kettle’ – or contain.

It also advises a tactic of 50 people walking backwards and forwards across a crossing continuously for seven minutes to create ‘cascading congestion’, adding: ‘This is totally legal.’

Protests in April saw about 5,000 activists take part – with actress Emma Thompson making a speech on top of a pink sailing boat at Oxford Circus.

This time Extinction Rebellion says it will muster 20,000 to 30,000 protesters. Activists drove tractors painted pink towards London yesterday. One Twitter user remarked: ‘Is it running on diesel, or a prayer?’ 

Celebrities also backed the protest. Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman and TV hosts Stephen Fry and Alan Carr donned the group’s ‘X’ badges at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday night, joined by comedian Asim Chaudry and US actress Crystal Clarke.

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The protesters at Hyde Park in London this morning are planning to carry out the biggest-ever occupation of the streets

The activists, pictured at Hyde Park in London this morning, plan to shut down 11 roads around Whitehall

Activists in Hyde Park in London today are planning roadblocks consisting of about 20 cyclists who will hand out cupcakes

Two police officers stand together at Hyde Park in London this morning ahead of the two weeks of planned protests

Extinction Rebellion activists pack up their tents in Hyde Park this morning before moving on to Westminster

Extinction Rebellion activists in Hyde Park are planning to start two weeks of protests in Central London starting today

Police officers stand at Marble Arch on the edge of Hyde Park where protesters gathered overnight into this morning

Extinction Rebellion talk next to their tents as they are packed up at Hyde Park in London this morning

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Spice Girl Mel B said: ‘I’m giving all my support to these brave activists to make a better world for us all.’ Model Daisy Lowe offered her support, saying: ‘It’s time for change. It’s time for rebellion and I love being able to be part of it.’

Miss Colman and Chaudry have both appeared in British Airways in-flight safety films. London City Airport, from which BA operates, is a target.

Extinction Rebellion spokesman Joel Scott-Halkes said: ‘We’re going to blockade and shut down every single road going into the central area of Westminster around the government.’

On Saturday, Met Police used a battering ram to raid a warehouse in Kennington, South London. Seven women and three men were arrested.

Transport officials warned commuters to the capital to leave plenty of time for travel and check for disruption. 

Grandfather-of-four, 83, involved in protests is arrested outside the Treasury for the second time in a week 

An 83-year-old grandfather-of-four who was involved in the spraying of fake blood at the Treasury a week ago was re-arrested this afternoon for a new offence at the same location.

Veteran campaigner Phil Kingston, of Bristol, was detained after spraying the words ‘Life not death for my grandchildren’ on the walls of the building. Mr Kingston, wearing a suit and tie, was seen using red spray paint to leave his message.

Police moved in and detained the retired lecturer and probation officer – who has been arrested several times as an activist – telling him he was being arrested for ‘defacing property’. Another officer was heard saying ‘put him in the van’.

Veteran campaigner Phil Kingston, of Bristol, spray paints a sign to the side of the Treasury building in London this morning 

A police officer intervenes as Mr Kingston and other climate change activists spray paint a sign using a stencil on the Treasury today

A police officer takes the stencil away after Mr Kingston sprays the message ‘Life, not death for my grandchildren’ at the Treasury

Police officers detain climate change activist Mr Kingston during the protests by the Extinction Rebellion group at the Treasury today

A police officer leads away a protester who sprayed a stencil slogan on the wall of the Treasury building in London this afternoon

Police officers help Mr Kingston into a van after arresting him during the protest by Extinction Rebellion at the Treasury today

Police officers detain the protesters who sprayed a stencil slogan on the wall of the Treasury in Westminster today

Mr Kingston said today he would ‘willingly’ accept imprisonment for his activism. He added: ‘Following Friday’s action at the Treasury, I am returning to re-emphasise my deep concern about the contribution it makes to climate breakdown via United Kingdom Export Finance.

‘The Environmental Audit Committee report of 10th June noted that UK Export Finance loans towards energy infrastructure over a recent five-year period came to £2.5billion.

‘Of this 96 per cent was spent on fossil fuel development. In 2018 this spending sky-rocketed eleven-fold, reaching almost £2 billion for the year. This represents complete disregard for the safety of the upcoming generation. I refuse to stand by and let that continue and will willingly accept imprisonment.’

Mr Kingston, who attends church and is a member of Christian Climate Action, went quietly with the officers. He has become a leading XR figure and earlier this year shared a platform with Greta Thunberg. 

Last week, he stood on top of a fire engine and was involved in spraying 1,800 litres of fake blood over the Treasury.  Speaking last week, he said: ‘I fight with all my being for my four grandchildren in this situation of existential danger.

‘And I am a Christian who cares for the Earth as God’s creation; and for the world’s poorest peoples whose experience of injustice draws a special love from God. I come to the Treasury to challenge these practices and to demand radical change in them.’ 

Mr Kingston (left) was involved in the protest involving red paint outside the Treasury building in Westminster last Thursday

In April this year, the octogenarian celebrated his birthday by climbing on top of a DLR train at Canary Wharf and eating a sandwich

In April this year, the octogenarian celebrated his birthday by climbing on top of a Docklands Light Railway train at Canary Wharf station in East London with other XR protesters and eating a sandwich. 

Mr Kingston, who lives in Bristol, also tried to get himself arrested five times outside Parliament in November last year and has previously compared his actions to that of the Suffragettes and the Civil Rights movement.

This content was originally published here.

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