Vegan group occupy Smithfield Market demanding government ‘ban meat’

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The group is demanding that the sale of meat is ended (Picture: Twitter/RebelsAnimal)

The group is demanding that the sale of meat is ended (Picture: Twitter/RebelsAnimal)

A vegan group calling itself ‘Animal Rebellion’ is occupying Smithfield Market in an attempt to ban the sale of meat.

An offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, the group is demanding the country adopt a ‘plant-based diet’.

They began their occupation at 5pm today, despite the market being closed and opening between the hours of 2am and 8am.

Activists held a moments silence to ‘remember all the animals whose lives are lost at the market daily’.

They also held a ceremony to open the ‘plant-based market’ which had been set up by the protestors.

A banner which read ‘Fruit and vegetable market’ was placed at the top of the building.

Those taking part have vowed to occupy the market for the next two weeks.

Vegan Group To Occupy Smithfield Market Tonight, Activist Tells LBC Provider: Twitter/RebelsAnimal

Activists occupied Smithfield Market earlier today (Picture: Twitter/RebelsAnimal)

Vegan Group To Occupy Smithfield Market Tonight, Activist Tells LBC Provider: Twitter/RebelsAnimal

Protesters have converted the market to a plant-based market (Picture: Twitter/RebelsAnimal)

Smithfield Market is one of the oldest meat markets in London, and one where activist Dillon Fernando said ‘death and environmental destruction would be bought to an end’.

He added that ‘farming and fishing industries are massive contributors to the climate crisis’.

Dillon told LBC: ‘So we’re going to be occupying Smithfield Meat Market overnight, we’re going to be artistically transforming Smithfield to show a vision to the public of what that plant-based food system could look like.’

It comes as the Metropolitan police said they had arrested a total of 217 people during today’s climate protests by Extinction Rebellion, which the group says will last for two weeks across London.

Vegan Group To Occupy Smithfield Market Tonight, Activist Tells LBC Provider: Twitter/RebelsAnimal

The protest coincided with climate protests by Extinction Rebellion in the capital today (Picture: Twitter/RebelsAnimal)

Vegan Group To Occupy Smithfield Market Tonight, Activist Tells LBC Provider: Twitter/RebelsAnimal

Activists held a moments silence to ‘remember all the animals whose lives are lost at the market daily’ (Picture: Animal Rebellion)

Vegan Group To Occupy Smithfield Market Tonight, Activist Tells LBC Provider: Twitter/RebelsAnimal

Groups of demonstrators shut down parts of London (Picture: Twitter/RebelsAnimal)

Organisers blockaded key sites in central London, and held demonstrations outside government departments.

Groups of demonstrators shut down roads around Parliament and Whitehall, with vehicles and bikes, and banners reading ‘tell the truth’ and ‘No coal mines, no fracking’.

Simultaneous protests occurred across the world, including Berlin, Sydney and Amsterdam.

Extinction rebellion says the protests could be five times bigger than those held in April.

The group 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.

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