Environmental activists block central London roads

Extinction Rebellion: Environmental protests halt traffic

Environmental protesters blocked access to several major London landmarks and vandalized oil company Shell's headquarters Monday as they tried to bring the city to a standstill.

Social media was awash with pictures and videos of activists blocking the streets of Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge, Marble Arch, and Parliament Square with banners and sculptures, including a massive pink boat sporting the words: "Tell the Truth".

One user wrote: "I don't care if Extinction Rebellion protest Climate Change but for god's sake, don't block the traffic!"

It is calling on the government to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025 and establish a citizens' assembly to devise an emergency plan of action similar to that seen during the second world war.

Police said three men were arrested in the ongoing protests.

The movement, which is demanding the Government takes urgent action on climate change and wildlife declines, has received support from actress and activist Dame Emma Thompson and former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams.

"We don't want to disrupt people, but our government's failure over the last 30 years leaves us no choice", an Extinction Rebellion spokesperson said.

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The group says that it intends to "bring London to a standstill for up to two weeks".

Demonstrators arrived at London's Hyde Park on Sunday, some having journeyed to the city on foot in recent weeks from various parts of the United Kingdom for what is described as an International Rebellion.

Activists gathered at Hyde Park yesterday and were encouraged to camp there overnight before a march towards Piccadilly Circus today.

The demonstrations are part of a global campaign, organised by the British climate group Extinction Rebellion, which encompasses protests in 80 cities, across 33 countries, in the coming days. No arrests have been made.

Police advised people travelling around London in the coming days to allow extra time for their journey in the event of road closures and general disruption.

The Met said it had "appropriate policing plans" in place for the demonstrations and officers from across the force would be used "to support the public order operation".

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