At least 90 arrested as Extinction Rebellion kick off weeks of disruption

Dozens of people have been arrested after Extinction Rebellion protesters blocked a road near the Houses of Parliament.

The campaigners sat in the middle of the road next to Parliament Square to stop traffic.

Dozens of police officers swooped in to carry them away to vans parked nearby, while the rest of the group danced, chanted and cheered. This evening the Metropolitan Police said that 90 people had been arrested 6pm, for offences including assaulting an emergency worker, obstructing police and public order breaches.

Around 1,000 Extinction Rebellion campaigners were gathered in Westminster to urge the government to prepare for a ‘climate crisis’.

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Today marks the start of two weeks of civil disobedience across the UK.

Several groups in London began marching towards Parliament Square from midday, but police have imposed strict restrictions across the area.

Any activists who do not leave by 7pm risk being arrested. and the activists will have to leave by 7pm or risk arrest.

Police have also banned boats, vehicles, trailers or other structures from being part of the procession.

Met Police commander Jane Connors said the force ‘decided to impose conditions under Section 12 and Section 14 of the Public Order Act (1986) on protesters looking to assemble, and those looking to go on a procession.’

She added: ‘The reason we have implemented these conditions is that we know these protests may result in serious disruption to local businesses, commuters and our communities and residents, which I will not tolerate.’

In Cardiff, a XR protest will begin at Gorsedd Stone Circle in Bute park today, and activists in Manchester have been in St Peters Square since 10am.

Over the weekend XR activists staged a number of demonstrations across the UK, including disrupting an HS2 compound in Birmingham and protesting against proposed expansion plans outside a number of airports.

In Brighton, three women were arrested, with specialist officers called to escort demonstrators who had scaled the West Beach cafe on the seafront.

Last year, more than 1,700 arrests were made within XR’s 10-day ‘Autumn Uprising’, which saw major disruption across the UK and large parts of central London blocked off.

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