Extinction Rebellion: 715 arrests as protests enter sixth day | UK News

Police have arrested more than 715 climate change protesters as demonstrations across the capital enter their sixth day.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said that so far 28 people have been charged following disruption at Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square.

On Friday, police dismantled the pink ship in the centre of Oxford Circus which had been a focal point for climate change protesters this week, saying it wanted to give businesses in London’s Oxford Street a chance to return to “business as usual”.

Despite the dismantling of the boat, protesters remained in Oxford Circus for a sixth day of demonstrations
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Despite the dismantling of the boat, protesters remained in Oxford Circus for a sixth day of demonstrations
Climate change activists sit atop a lorry as they continue to block Waterloo Bridge in London on April 20, 2019, on the sixth day of an environmental protest by the Extinction Rebellion group
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Climate change activists are blocking Waterloo Bridge on the sixth day of protests

Officers kept a close circle around the boat throughout the day and eventually managed to get the last activist off, before taking it apart and removing it.

The boat, which is named after murdered environmentalist Berta Caceres, was dismantled several hours after Dame Emma Thompson used it as a stage to rally protesters.

Police dismantle Extinction Rebellion's 'Tell the Truth' boat
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Police have dismantled Extinction Rebellion’s ‘Tell the Truth’ boat
One of the last remaining Extinction Rebellion demonstrators attached to the boat, who glued himself to the mast, is detached and helped off the boat by police
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One Extinction Rebellion demonstrator glued himself to the mast

Meanwhile, the teenage founder of the recent school strikes against climate change has said she hopes to join the protesters when she arrives in London over the Easter weekend.

Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish activist, is due to meet senior British politicians next week having already met with Pope Francis and addressed the EU Parliament.

She told The Guardian she would also like to join the protests if they are still going when she arrives.

She added: “I would love to participate in their protests while in London if there is time and if they are still protesting.

“I think it’s one of the most important and hopeful movements of our time. Civil disobedience is necessary to create attention to the ongoing climate and ecological crisis.”

Dame Emma  Thompson has been accused of hypocrisy after flying from the US to join the protests.
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Dame Emma Thompson has been accused of hypocrisy after flying from the US to join the protests

On Friday, about 20 young people from the group had gathered beside a roundabout at Heathrow airport.

They held a banner saying, “Are we the last generation?” – but, amid a heavy police presence, all roads remained open.

Extinction Rebellion protesters continue to block Waterloo Bridge for a sixth day
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Extinction Rebellion protesters continue to block Waterloo Bridge for a sixth day

Extinction Rebellion had threatened to “raise the bar” at Britain’s busiest airport, which was expected to be used by almost 250,000 people on the first day of the Easter break.

But by Friday lunchtime, the protesters left without having disrupted a single flight, saying they felt their message had been heard.

Meanwhile, actress Dame Emma spoke to protesters gathered at Oxford Circus, telling them: “Our planet is in serious trouble.”

She told Sky News that she had been a member of anti-climate change groups for decades and was frustrated about the lack of government action on the issue.

A fifth day of protests is taking place across the capital
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Protests have taken place across London

She added: “I really do care about my children and my grandchildren enough to want to be here today to stand next to the next generation who are so inspiring, who so understand the problem.

“I’ve watched successive governments sign successive agreements on climate change over the years and then I’ve watched them absolutely and utterly ignore the agreements that they’ve made because they’re not legally binding.

“When it comes to fossil fuels, democracy doesn’t come into it.”

British actress Emma Thompson (C) gestures as police surround the pink boat being used as a stage by climate change activists as they occupy the road junction at Oxford Circus in central London on April 19, 2019 during the fifth day of an environmental protest by the Extinction Rebellion group
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Dame Emma told protesters: ‘The planet is in trouble’

Dame Emma has also been accused of hypocrisy after taking a 5,400-mile flight from Los Angeles in the US to join the protests.

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