Activists vow disruption in capital will continue for weeks

Extinction Rebellion: Hundreds of arrests as protesters target London transport network and Jeremy Corbyn’s home

More than 300 environmental protesters have been arrested during ongoing climate change protests in London as demonstrators attempted to bring travel chaos to the capital by targeting the Tube and DLR network.

Activists have vowed the disruption in London will continue for weeks as activists glued themselves to a train and, Jeremy Corbyn ‘s garden fence.

The Labour leader’s home in north London became the latest target on the third day of demonstrations, which faced criticism for its focus on the public transport system.

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Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, voiced his support for the demonstration but warned: “You don’t want to inadvertently cause problems with our public transport, which is what we are going to be encouraging people to use when we face a climate emergency.”

Others praised the positive impact the protests were having on major junctions and roads in the capital that are normally traffic-clogged.

“No cars, clean air, happy vibes. What a lovely protest. Should be like this every day,” wrote one on Twitter.

Extinction Rebellion: Climate change protests cause chaos in London

1/26Police officers detain a climate change activist at Waterloo BridgeReuters
2/26Climate change activists blockade Oxford Circus on the third day of an environmental protest by the Extinction Rebellion group
3/26Climate change activists stand atop a bus shelter as they take part in a blockade of Waterloo BridgeAFP/Getty Images
4/26Police is seen as climate change activists demonstrate during the Extinction Rebellion protest, at Canary Wharf DLR station in London

5/26Police speak to climate change activists blockading Waterloo bridgeAFP/Getty
Waterloo Bridge
6/26 Waterloo
7/26Climate change activists, one (right) with her hand glued to the underside of a truck parked across Waterloo BridgeAFP/Getty
8/26Environmental campaigners protest in the centre of Oxford Circus

Participants are demanding the government declare a climate emergency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025.

Two men and two women from the Extinction Rebellion (XR) group used glue and a bike lock in a bid to prevent police from removing them from outside the Labour leader’s house on Wednesday.

They said they all support Mr Corbyn but want the Labour Party to go further than declaring a “climate emergency”.

As they left, one protester, Tracee Williams, 55, said: “We just really felt we had to bring it to his front door.”

Demonstrations have so far taken place in locations including Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch this week.

Roads around Parliament Square remain closed to cars and other vehicles. Environmental protesters were dancing to samba music in the street on Wednesday evening and reading “letters to the Earth” from a podium on the green in the middle of the square.

Scotland Yard could not confirm whether or not anyone had been charged with any criminal offences.

Campaigners said the cells in the capital are full and “operating on a one-in, one-out capacity”, while some of those being released from custody have rejoined the protests.

The Metropolitan Police said: “Our custody suites are not full and we are continuing to arrest those who are breaking the law.”

The force added those continuing to demonstrate in areas where a restriction is in place face prosecution.

Activists said they plan to continue their roadblocks, which have affected more than half a million people with road closures, traffic gridlock and disruption to transport and businesses since Monday, until at least next Friday.

Spokeswoman Jayne Forbes said: “We would obviously look to go on for two weeks and if we can go on longer then even better. It depends on the rebels.

“We have got quite a lot of people committed to do it for the whole two weeks.”

Robin Boardman-Pattison, 21, said activists are planning to step up action on the rail and London Underground network.

“We will be escalating our disruption throughout the week,” he said. “The impact to the Tube system will grow.”

The British Transport Police (BTP) arrested two men and a woman on suspicion of obstructing the railway after activists clambered aboard the carriage of a train at Canary Wharf station on Wednesday morning.

Police remove climate change protestors who had glued themselves to the roof of a DLR train at Canary wharf station (AFP/Getty Images)

A smartly dressed man and woman glued their hands to the roof before being removed and taken away in a police van.

XR, who are demanding a meeting with the Government, says direct action is needed to force authorities to act urgently on climate change and wildlife declines and halt a “sixth mass extinction”.

TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham joined protesters at Oxford Circus, saying: “I believe the world’s leaders are not acting urgently enough to avert a climate catastrophe.

“As long as it is peaceful and democratic then they can count on my support.”

A YouGov poll of 3,561 UK adults suggested public opinion has swung against the protests, while some Londoners hit out at the group’s “seriously flawed” methods.

Many voiced opposition to their targeting of the public transport system, which appeared to contradict a wider environmental message for people to switch from cars to Tubes and trains.

Music student Anouska Stahlmann, 20, said her ill mother and elderly grandparents had to walk part of their journey because of the risk of getting stuck in a tunnel while on the Tube.

“I have no issue with wanting to better the environment and we’re fairly conscious of it as a family,” she said.

“Their methods, however, are seriously flawed and are not inclusive of people who want to support the cause.

“I find it awful they’re disintegrating into a rent-a-mob mentality really.

“I’d expect better.”

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