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Saturday, 18 November, 2023

Six arrested after climate activists block central London bridge

Six arrested after climate activists block central London bridge

Members of Animal Rebellion, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, staged the Valentine’s Day protest on Westminster Bridge

Six people were arrested after climate activists blocked a major bridge in central London in a protest calling for investment in plant-based food.

Members of Animal Rebellion, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, staged the Valentine’s Day protest on Westminster Bridge just after 10am on Tuesday to urge the Government to sever ties with animal farming.

The protesters set up a candlelit dinner table on the road, with one dressed as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and another as a representative of the animal-farming and fishing industries.

Several protesters were moved off the road by members of the public, who appeared frustrated at the disruption.

The Metropolitan Police said five protesters were arrested for obstruction of the highway while a sixth person was arrested for allegedly assaulting a protester.

All six were taken to a west London police station.

Protester Rose Patterson, 33, held a sign that said “Stop breaking hearts, be part of a plant-based future”.

She told the PA news agency: “We’re here today to highlight that animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of climate change.

“I don’t want to be here today, I’m just acting out of love and compassion and love for everyone here.

“I know people are angry at us, we’ve been dragged out of the road, people have been thrown off chairs, dragged around, and this is not fun, we’re just trying to remind people that there are alternatives, we can thrive on a plant-based food system.”

Another protester, Joshua Lane, 25, said: “Rishi Sunak could lead the way towards a world where humans and non-humans alike are free from the worst impacts of climate breakdown – in a nation of animal lovers it’s the only sensible choice.”

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “The Met Police were rapidly on scene at Westminster Bridge this morning.

“At 10.12 five protesters placed themselves on the highway, blocking traffic over the bridge in the direction of St Thomas Hospital.”

The road reopened shortly after 11.10am.

Later on Tuesday, another environmental group, Just Stop Oil, delivered a letter to Mr Sunak at Downing Street, demanding that the Government halt all future licensing and consent for fossil fuel projects, to have a chance of meeting the Paris Agreement of limiting global warming to 1.5C.

Youth campaigner Phoebe Plummer said: “Accelerating the granting of North Sea oil and gas licences is to knowingly plan for the death of countless millions, for the loss of entire nation states.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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