Climate activists arrested ahead of planned central London disruption

Environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion are planning large scale protests in the British capital from Monday

Police officers detain a man outside Lambeth County Court, during a raid on an Extinction Rebellion storage facility, in London, Britain October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
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Police have arrested 10 activists in London this weekend ahead of large climate protests that expect to see thousands of people on the streets of the British capital.

In a statement on Saturday, London’s Metropolitan police said they had arrested 10 people – seven women and three men – on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance.

A spokesman for the police force said: “They [the arrested activists] have been taken to a south London police station. Officers remain at the scene. Inquiries continue.”

These latest arrests come after the police arrested eight Extinction Rebellion activists on Thursday, after they sprayed the British Treasury building with fake blood.

Extinction Rebellion is planning large protests in London beginning on Monday.

Part of the group’s plan is to bring central London to a standstill by blocking roads around the Houses of Parliament until the British government listens to its demands. The group also plans to carry out large scale protests at another 11 sites in the British capital, including holding a sit-in at City Airport and shutting down Vauxhall Bridge.

Organisers said that over 9,500 activists have registered their intentions to take part in next week’s protests.

Extinction Rebellion is calling for Britain to cut its carbon emissions to “net zero” by 2025.

The protests are part of an "international rebellion" which aims to cause nonviolent disruption in 60 cities across the world.

The group said "100 police officers” had raided a warehouse in Kennington, south London, on Saturday morning where they were storing equipment they planned to use at the protests next week.

Videos circulating on social media show officers using a battering ram to break into the south London warehouse.

On Twitter, the climate group added: "Pre-emptive arrests are taking place at one of our warehouses for conspiracy to obstruct highways, even if people ddidn't intend to join the rebellion.”

Extinction Rebellion had another large scale protest in April, where it blockaded Oxford Street, one of London’s busiest streets.

The latest police statistics show 256 activists have already been convicted of offences from April's protest.

Police have vowed crack down on the activists ahead of next week's protests.

Nick Ephgrave, assistant Metropolitan Police commissioner, told journalists this week that laws designed to maintain public order needed updating to potentially ban habitual protesters and redefine what constitutes “serious disruption”.