Extinction Rebellion London – Boris Johnson slams Eco-warriors as ‘crusties littering the road’ as protesters cause commuter chaos and shut down huge parts of the city

Extinction Rebellion London – Boris Johnson slams Eco-warriors as ‘crusties littering the road’ as protesters cause commuter chaos and shut down huge parts of the city

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BORIS Johnson slammed the “uncooperative crusties and protesters” after they caused travel misery for thousands of commuters in London.

Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion protesters pitched tents and set up came just yards from the Prime Minister’s front door at No10.

Celebrities Daisy Lowe, Jamie Winstone, Emily Sonnet sit with each other during today's Extinction Rebellion Protest
Celebrities Daisy Lowe, Jamie Winstone, Emily Sonnet sit with each other during today’s Extinction Rebellion Protest
Instagram
Model Daisy Lowe attends the Extinction Rebellion protest in London
Model Daisy Lowe attends the Extinction Rebellion protest in London
Reuters
Ruby Wax and Juliet Stevenson sit together on Westminster Bridge as part of today's Extinction Rebellion protest
Ruby Wax and Juliet Stevenson sit together on Westminster Bridge as part of today’s Extinction Rebellion protest
AFP or licensors
US actor and comedien Ruby Wax sits with eco-warriors on Westminster Bridge
US actor and comedien Ruby Wax sits with eco-warriors on Westminster Bridge
AFP or licensors
British actress Juliet Stevenson sits with activists gathered on Westminster Bridge
British actress Juliet Stevenson sits with activists gathered on Westminster Bridge
AFP or licensors
Mark Rylance was spotted near St James' Park today with Extinction Rebellion activists
Mark Rylance was spotted near St James’ Park today with Extinction Rebellion activists
AP:Associated Press
Mark Rylance speaking to crowds today during today's Extinction Rebellion protests
Mark Rylance speaking to crowds today during today’s Extinction Rebellion protests
London News Pictures
One protester is carried away by police after they were taken off the scaffolding
One protester is carried away by police after they were taken off the scaffolding
Reuters
An Extinction Rebellion protester is led away by cops during today’s mass protest
PA:Press Association

Mr Johnson tore into the eco-warriors, branding them “importunate nose ringed climate change protesters”.

And he lashed the “heaving hemp-smelling bivouacs that now litter Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park” for making the journey into work so horrible for many.

Speaking at the launch of a book on Margaret Thatcher , Mr Johnson admitted his security staff had warned him off braving the protesters causing havoc outside.

He said: “I am afraid that the security people didn’t want me to come along tonight because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters.

“And they said there was some risk that I would be egged.

“And so I immediately asked my private office – what would Margaret Thatcher do?”

Thousands of climate change protesters blocked London’s roads and bridges as they kicked off their two-week long demonstration in the capital.

Mr Johnson said the activists should take a lead out of the Iron Lady’s book.

He added: “I hope that when we go out from this place tonight, and we are waylayed by importunate nose ringed climate change protestors, we remind them that she was also right about greenhouse gases.

“And she took it seriously long before Greta Thunberg.”

Earlier today, celebrities Daisy Lowe, Ruby Wax and Mark Rylance have joined the eco-warriors today in

Extinction Rebellion protesters stood side by side with the celebrities for the second time this year as they vow to bring a fortnight of disruptions to the capital.

Sir Mark told Extinction Rebellion protesters at St James’ Park: “People have been saying to me, it doesn’t make a difference having a celebrity joining the protests.

“But I want people to know climate change protesters aren’t hippies. I am confident these protests are going to lead to a solid change.”

Stevenson said she was delighted to see so much engagement from young people and that her own son was at the protests and working for Extinction Rebellion.

The Truly Madly Deeply star said: “It’s a very wonderful action today. We can’t any longer allow governments to do this so we have to make it clear that there is no more time.

“There’s a long tradition in this country of people saying governments are not acting, we have to make them realise how urgent this is.”

Police have finally got tough on Extinction Rebellion eco-warriors as they arrested 276 protesters by 6.15pm this evening- rather than dancing and skateboarding with them.

Officers came under fire in April when they were filmed larking around with activists on Waterloo Bridge who had caused travel misery to ordinary Londoners.

But cops today took a tough stance as activists began their two week-campaign to block streets and bridges in the capital.

Just after 9am today Lambeth Bridge was closed down by protesters and they also shut off Westminster bridge.

Activists also created roadblocks on Victoria Street, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and the Mall, and banged drums and danced outside Downing Street.

The Trafalgar takeover started with a funeral hearse with “our future” painted on a coffin inside blocking Whitehall.

Inside the driver chained his head to the car using a bike lock as two others locked themselves under the wheels.

Activists attached themselves to a car in Trafalgar Square today
Activists attached themselves to a car in Trafalgar Square today
Reuters
Police cutting the metal pole off a man's arm after he locked himself to it in Whitehall
Police cutting the metal pole off a man’s arm after he locked himself to it in Whitehall
Rex Features
A protester dressed in a leopard-print leotard is carried away by police
A protester dressed in a leopard-print leotard is carried away by police
EPA
Tents are set up for the night by climate activists at St James's Park
Tents are set up for the night by climate activists at St James’s Park
AP:Associated Press
Police were seen cutting Extinction Rebellion protesters out of a car parked outside the Ministry of Defence
London News Pictures
Police surround the eco-warrior who barricaded himself in a car in central London
AP:Associated Press
An Extinction Rebellion protester is led away by police today in central London
London News Pictures
An activist lies on the ground on the first day of a fortnight of disruption
London News Pictures
An Extinction Rebellion activist is marched away by cops today
London News Pictures
A protester sits in a police van after being taken away by police in Westminster
Getty – Contributor
Copy of the Trident missile is parked in front of the Ministry of Defence
Reuters
Climate change activists chain their hands together on the ground
Rex Features
Police and protesters face off in Westminster on the first day of a two week protest in London
Getty Images – Getty
Cops were seen taking a tougher stance – compared to April when an officer was caught skateboarding on Waterloo Bridge as protesters shut down London
Protesters are lying under a trailer parked in the middle of the road at Trafalgar Square
PA:Press Association
A hearse was driven onto Trafalgar Square and one protester locked his head to the steering wheel with a bike lock
PA:Press Association

Early this morning specialist officers cut some of the protesters out of a car parked outside the Ministry of Defence and were seen marching away activists.

Angry Londoners today blasted the activists for targeting the capital again, despite the UK cutting carbon emissions faster than any other G7 nation.

The travel chaos forced pensioner Tony, 65, from Vauxhall, to take two buses and two Tubes to get to St Thomas’s hospital after his normal route was blocked by the eco-warriors.

The OAP has two broken bones in his foot and had to struggle across Westminster Bridge on his crutches to reach the hospital.

Tony, who didn’t want to give his surname, told the Sun Online: “It’s disgraceful. It’s a pity they got rid of Boris Johnson’s water cannons”.

Michael Coleman, from South London, said: “Extinction Rebellion are causing needless aggravation in London today. Crazy…they’ve got nothing better to do than frustrate people and cause needless chaos”.

Around 30,000 activists are expected to try and grind the city over the next fortnight in a move that will stop people getting to work, making hospital appointments and hit businesses.

Earlier today Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, who is the police chief in charge of the Extinction Rebellion protests, had said officers will deal with activists breaking the law “robustly”.

One of the 276 arrested included 81-year-old Quaker Sarah Lasenby, a retired social worker from Oxford.

She said: “I was so relieved to have something I could do about the ghastly state we have got our planet in”.

Daisy Lowe during the Extinction Rebellion protest in Trafalgar Square
PA:Press Association
US actor and comedien Ruby Wax (centre) and British actor Juliet Stevenson (right) sit with activists gathered on Westminster Bridge
AFP or licensors
Phil Kingston, 83, sprays a stencil slogan on the wall of the building housing the Treasury during the Extinction Rebellion protest
Reuters
The 83-year-old is led away by officers after spraying the stencil slogan on the wall
Reuters

One tearful activist called Rowan compared the protesters to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, telling LBC radio: “I’m feeling quite moved at the moment because I’ve just been watching people being taken away.

“It’s very moving seeing people giving their freedom and giving so much of their lives. Some of these people have been doing this for years, trying to raise the warning about climate change.

“I really feel that this is their last chance to try to turn things around. If we don’t turn it around this time, that’s it. That’s it for the people in the future.

“I feel the legacy we’ve inherited from the people who have done non-violence civil disobedience in the past – people like Martin Luther King and Gandhi.

“They all fought for freedom and human rights and for the right for life on earth. They’ve handed the torch on to us.”

Extinction Rebellion Buddhists take part in prayers today
A wedding took place in the middle of Westminster Bridge once it had been shut down by activists
Tasmin (left) and Melissa embrace after they received a blessing ahead of their wedding day, surrounded by activists from the climate change group
AFP or licensors
Protesters perform yoga on Westminster Bridge
Getty Images – Getty
The climate activist had barricaded himself in a car in the middle of the road
Getty Images – Getty
The protester handcuffed themselves to the car
AFP or licensors
A cloth covers the head of a climate change activist who had barricaded himself to a car
AFP or licensors
A climate change activist smears Marmite on his body as he demonstrates on Lambeth Bridge in central London
AFP or licensors

A 25-year-old teacher from London who took the week off to join the protests said: “The plan is to shut down the whole of London.

“The issue of climate change is an issue for everyone, and it’s clear we can’t leave it to the politicians.

“I booked the week off work for this. The school kids are out protesting too. Everyone is.”

It’s forecast to pour with rain this afternoon in the capital.

However commuters vented their fury at the protesters for the disruption caused.

Tom Stone said: “Police resources will have to deal with this and not all responding officers will be available to deal with real crimes or emergencies. I think they really need to rethink their strategy, it’s appalling”.

Another tweeted: “Causing disruption in London and major cities worldwide is clearly not the correct approach to adopt in order to get one’s message across. If anything, it’s just a real nuisance, at the expense of the taxpayer”.

A man dressed as homeless Santa lays on the ground at Millbank
A man dressed as homeless Santa lays on the ground at Millbank
Getty Images – Getty
Demonstrators play a game of cricket in Westminster
PA:Press Association
Activists are vowing to shut down Westminster as they demand urgent action on climate change
Reuters
Police officers detain an activist at Lambeth Bridge early on Monday morning
Reuters
Police officers speak with activists in Westminster during the Extinction Rebellion fortnight of action
PA:Press Association
Police were seen patting down a protester in central London
PA:Press Association
Protesters struggle to prevent their equipment being confiscated by police from a van during the occupation of Westminster Bridge
Alamy Live News

Over the next fortnight protesters will also target London City Airport, which they will attempt to hold for three days.

Those behind the protest admitted their action could have an impact on St Thomas’s hospital, which sits on the opposite bank of the Thames from the Houses of Parliament.

When asked whether they were worried about disruption at the hospital, activist Savannah Lovelock said that they were “really sorry…but we are running out of time”.

But protesters did stand aside to allow ambulances responding to emergencies to pass.

In July one man missed his father’s dying moments because Extinction Rebellion had blocked roads in the city.

The monarch could also be affected as the Queen’s Speech takes place on October 14 and is on a route which could have its access blocked.

A government spokesman said: “People have the right to protest peacefully but they must do so within the law.

“It is essential that people can continue to go about their business, going to and from work, visiting families, and have access to vital public services, including emergency services and schools.

“Rights to peaceful protest does not extend to unlawful activity.

“The government expects police to take a firm stance against protesters who significantly disrupt the lives of others and will use the full force of the law.”

A sculpture made by activists left on the road at Lambeth Bridge
Reuters
Police dismantle the Extinction Rebellion stage on Westminster Bridge
PA:Press Association
A police officer takes away cooking equipment from an Extinction Rebellion roadblock on Millbank
London News Pictures
A protester smiles as he is arrested and led away by Police in Birdcage Walk in Westminster
Getty – Contributor
Police take away an Extinction Rebellion protester today
PA:Press Association
Extinction Rebellion campaigners stand in front of a police van
Protesters took a boat out on the River Thames during today’s day of action
PA:Press Association
Climate change activists block The Mall as they demonstrate near Buckingham Palace
AFP or licensors
Climate change activists chain themselves together on Victoria Street, outside Westminster Abbey
PA:Press Association
Police lead away an activist from Lambeth Bridge
Reuters
This month’s protest will be five times bigger than April’s demonstrations, which caused chaos across the capital
PA:Press Association
Police search activists’ bags in Westminster
PA:Press Association
An Extinction Rebellion logo has been put on the Alton Barnes White Horse by climate change campaigners in Pewsey
Apex News

More than a thousand people attended an “opening ceremony” at Marble Arch last night, featuring meditation and dancing as “inspiration” prior to the protests.

Groups of artists held a procession around Marble Arch as the protesters were told to “surround” the upcoming demonstrations with love.

Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Zoe Jones, 24, said: “We’re here to pressure the Government into action because we can’t wait any longer.

“The next two weeks will involve marches and family friendly events, there’ll be some spicier actions as well and some will be arrestable.

“We’ve had 4,000 rebels sign up and say they are willing to be arrested – which is a huge increase on the number arrested in April of 1,000.

“The public perception of XR is that we’re disrupting ordinary people’s lives by blocking roads and that’s why this time we’re taking our protests to the seat of power and taking it to Westminster.

“We are on the public’s side and we are ordinary people who are extremely concerned.”

Activists distribute free food on Westminster Bridge
Reuters

Grace Maddrell, 14, told PA: “I’m here today because I am angry that no one is doing anything to save my future.”

Major events are also taking place around the world in Australia, in Europe – in Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam – and in the US in New York and Washington DC.

Extinction Rebellion is calling on the Government declare a climate and ecological emergency, act immediately to halt wildlife loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Earlier in the year, Parliament declared a climate and environment emergency and the Government has passed a law to cut emissions to net zero by 2050, far later than the activists are demanding.

The group staged 11 days of protests in London in April that disrupted public transport and roads.


On Thursday Extinction Rebellion activists used a fire engine to hose red liquid at the Treasury to draw attention to what they said was the government’s failure to avert climate disaster.

Last week the Met warned that the protests were taking officers away from other vital roles in the capital including tackling knife crime and domestic violence.

More resources have been used policing climate change protest than focusing on terror, it was said.

Extinction Rebellion protesters gathered in Marble Arch last night for an opening ceremony
AFP or licensors
Extinction Rebellion climate protesters are planning to bring disruption to 60 cities around the world from Monday in a fortnight of action
AFP or licensors
Protesters in costume gather at Marble Arch last night
AFP or licensors

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