Extinction Rebellion London – Furious OAP with broken foot tears into eco-warriors blocking his route to hospital

Extinction Rebellion London – Furious OAP with broken foot tears into eco-warriors blocking his route to hospital

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A FURIOUS OAP with a broken foot has slammed Extinction Rebellion protesters today after he was forced to take a major detour to get to hospital.

Climate activists shut down roads around Parliament and Whitehall as they began their fortnight of action in the capital.

Pensioner Tony was forced to take two buses and two Tubes to get to St Thomas’s hospital today
Tony and a protester exchanged words as he hobbled across Westminster Bridge
The protester told Tony climate change was more important than the inconvenience of him having a longer journey to hospital

Protesters created roadblocks on Westminster and Lambeth Bridges, Victoria Street, Whitehall and the Mall.

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 did not want to give his surname, told the Sun Online: “I’m not OK. And then to be pushed by ignorant people like that.

“It should have been one bus journey door to door [that took me] right outside the hospital.

“I’ve had to get two buses, two Tubes and come across the bridge to see an Orthopaedic surgeon. It’s disgraceful. It’s a pity they got rid of Boris Johnson’s water cannons.”

At that moment a man, who had come to London for the protest, asked him: “Why should they be arrested and water cannoned? It’s a free country”.

Responding, Tony said: “Don’t you think I ought to be able to get to a hospital?”

The protester shot back saying: “I know it’s annoying but climate change is even more important.”

Hobbling across Westminster Bridge on his crutches, Tony said: “Go and protest somewhere else…stop disrupting people’s lives.”

The protester said: “I’ve given up a day’s work…I’ve come 30 miles into London…”

Turning to him, Tony said: “I’ve given up a day’s work to go to the hospital. It should be one bus journey”.

As the pensioner crossed the road, the activist said: “It’s very inconvenient I agree…but something’s got to be done about it”.

Protesters struggle to prevent their equipment being confiscated by police from a van during the occupation of Westminster Bridge
Alamy Live News
Police dismantle the Extinction Rebellion stage on Westminster Bridge
PA:Press Association
An Extinction Rebellion protester is led away by cops outside Downing Street during today’s mass protest
PA:Press Association
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

By lunchtime today police had arrested 135 protesters as they took a tougher approach.

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

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

One of the 135 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”.

One tearful activist called Rowan compared the protesters to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, saying: “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.”

Daisy Lowe during the Extinction Rebellion protest in Trafalgar Square
PA:Press Association
Phil Kingston, 83, sprays a stencil slogan on the wall of the building housing the Treasury during the Extinction Rebellion protest
Reuters
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
Protesters perform yoga on Westminster Bridge
Getty Images – Getty
A climate change activist smears Marmite on his body as he demonstrates on Lambeth Bridge in central London
AFP or licensors

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

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”.

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”.

Around 30,000 activists are expected to try and grind the city over the next fortnight.

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.

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

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.

A sculpture made by activists left on the road at Lambeth Bridge
Reuters
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
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
Police search activists’ bags in Westminster
PA:Press Association

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