100+ Arrested in London Extinction Rebellion Protests
More than 100 people were arrested during ongoing climate change protests in London that brought parts of the British capital to a standstill, police said Tuesday.
Demonstrators had started by blocking off a bridge and major central road junctions on Monday at the start of a civil disobedience campaign that also saw action in other parts of Europe.
UPDATED: Further arrests made following ongoing protests in central London https://t.co/BiNmFAaSrg https://t.co/FcR2mMWj9S— Metropolitan Police (@Metropolitan Police)1555393711.0
The protests were organized by the campaign group Extinction Rebellion, which was established last year in Britain by academics and has become one of the world's fastest-growing environmental movements.
Metropolitan Police in London said that by early Tuesday 113 adults had been arrested.
That number includes three men and two women who were arrested at the UK offices of energy company Royal Dutch Shell on suspicion of criminal damage. Campaigners daubed graffiti and smashed a window at the Shell Centre building.
A protester glued herself to the Shell building.
picture-alliance / dpa / empics / J. Brady
The majority of people arrested were held for breaching public order laws and blocking a highway.
The protest saw more than a thousand people block off central London's Waterloo Bridge and lay trees in pots along its length. Later, people set up camps in Hyde Park in preparation for further demonstrations throughout the week.
Protesters Demand Action
Police have ordered protesters to confine themselves to a zone within Marble Arch, a space at the junction of Hyde Park, the Oxford Street main shopping thoroughfare and the Park Lane street of plush hotels.
Mother and daughter climate protesters at Marble Arch in London.
picture-alliance / dpa / empics / S. Parsons
"The information and intelligence available at this time means that the Met (police) feels this action is necessary in order to prevent the demonstrations from causing ongoing serious disruption," the police said.
The climate protesters want governments to declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025, halt biodiversity loss and be led by new "citizens' assemblies on climate and ecological justice."
Spokesman for the protesters James Fox said the group had attempted to maintain a blockade overnight at four sites in central London before the police came to impose the new restriction.
People were arrested "mostly at Waterloo Bridge where the police came to try to stop everyone, but there were too many of us", he told AFP.
Fox said the protesters attached themselves to vehicles and to each other using bicycle locks.
"We have no intention of leaving until the government listens to us," he said. "Many of us are willing to sacrifice our liberty for the cause."
Reposted with permission from our media associate Deutsche Welle.
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.
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Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.
"It's easy to feel dwarfed in the context of such a global systemic issue," says psychologist Renée Lertzman.
She says that when people experience these feelings, they often shut down and push information away. So to encourage climate action, she advises not bombarding people with frightening facts.
"When we lead with information, we are actually unwittingly walking right into a situation that is set up to undermine our efforts," she says.
She says if you want to engage people on the topic, take a compassionate approach. Ask people what they know and want to learn. Then have a conversation.
This conversational approach may seem at odds with the urgency of the issue, but Lertzman says it can get results faster.
"When we take a compassion-based approach, we are actively disarming defenses so that people are actually more willing and able to respond and engage quicker," she says. "And we don't have time right now to mess around, and so I do actually come to this topic with a sense of urgency… We do not have time to not take this approach."
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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