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National News

Number of people arrested at XR protests nears 200 as Oxford Circus targeted

todayAugust 25, 2021 5

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Number of people arrested at XR protests nears 200 as Oxford Circus targeted

The number of people arrested at Extinction Rebellion events in London in four days of protests has almost reached 200 as the environmental group targeted the Oxford Circus area.

The Metropolitan Police said as of 6pm on Wednesday, a further six had been arrested for a “variety of offences”.

It brings the total number of arrests made over the four days of protests to 196.

However, dozens of people could be seen being dragged away by officers on Wednesday afternoon after a large group blocked off the surrounding roads near Oxford Circus with a partially-built pink sculpture – putting traffic at a standstill.

The Met moved in after a van dropped off the sculpture and protesters formed a human chain to stop it being taken down, according to Extinction Rebellion (XR).

A spokeswoman for the group told the PA news agency: “The van pulled up and everything was unloaded, including a partially-assembled pink structure.

“Some women then came and formed a ring to allow the structure to be built by holding hands and gluing their hands together.

“The police came charging in to try and stop it being built and rushed through the women to get to it, but the structure was already built by that point.

“Some people then began gluing themselves to the structure.”

Police had warned XR protesters to leave the area or face being arrested.

Using a loudspeaker, a police officer said: “You must this area immediately or you may be arrested.”

Topless women with climate messages written on their bodies were among the protesters in the area.

Officers formed a cordon close to where they were located and began carrying away dozens of them to police vans parked nearby.

Members clapped and cheered as they were taken away while others played music and chanted. Pedestrians were urged to find another way around the area.

The Met said in a statement on Twitter: “Officers have intervened when protesters were building a structure at #OxfordCircus.

“Some individuals have glued themselves to the structure, specialist officers are working to support their removal.

“There will be some disruption to traffic in the area as roads are currently blocked, which we are working to reduce.”

Earlier in the day, activists from Money Rebellion, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, gathered at the Department for International Trade to hold a mock awards ceremony where a “Charred Earth” award was given to the department.

Other activists gathered at the Brazilian embassy to show solidarity with indigenous people in the Amazon Rainforest.

XR began its Impossible Rebellion protests on Monday when demonstrators blocked roads in central London, including around Trafalgar Square.

They are demanding the Government immediately end investment in fossil fuels that are driving climate change.

The Met said a “significant” operation would be in place for the protests over the bank holiday weekend but also acknowledged the activists’ “important cause”.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

Written by: admin

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