More arrests as Extinction Rebellion targets City of London over fossil fuels


Extinction Rebellion activists have brought disruption to the City of London as the number of arrests topped 1,400 over a week of protests.

Hundreds of protesters spent the day blocking the crossroads at Bank station, outside the Bank of England.

They held banners and placards bearing messages targeting financial institutions and investment in fossil fuels, such as “divest from climate change” and “invest in soil not oil”.

They also blocked the crossroads outside Monument station after marching from Bank, stopping traffic for a time at the junction.

A rabbi was arrested for leading a group of Jewish protesters to join the activists obstructing the five roads at Bank.

Before he was carried away, Jeffrey Newman, rabbi emeritus of Finchley Reform Synagogue in north London – who was wearing a white skullcap branded with the black Extinction Rebellion logo – said: “I see it as my religious and moral duty to stand up for what I believe in, and what I care about, for my grandchildren.”

The Metropolitan Police said that more than 1,400 people had been arrested in connection with the Extinction Rebellion protests, which kicked off last Monday with activists shutting down the roads around Parliament and Whitehall before targeting City Airport on Thursday.

Some 76 people have been charged with offences including failing to comply with a condition under the Public Order Act 1986, criminal damage and obstruction of a highway, the Met Police said.

Among the activists at Bank was Dave Evans, 32, an IT consultant from London, said he had taken two weeks’ unpaid leave to join the protests.

He said the finance sector needs to “stop funding the climate crisis”.

“These huge corporations are financing fossil fuels and (are) being subsidised by the Government,” he added.

Activists holding the junction were joined by the “red brigade” – Extinction Rebellion protesters dressed in red cloaks and veils with white painted faces – and a yoga session was held at the crossroads.

Scientists dressed in lab coats also joined the protests.

Protesters outside asset management company BlackRock’s headquarters

The protests form part of an “international rebellion” with protests in cities around the world demanding urgent action on climate change and wildlife losses.

In the UK, Extinction Rebellion is calling on the Government to declare a climate and ecological emergency, to act immediately to halt wildlife loss and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Extinction Rebellion said dozens of activists are expected to appear in court this week, including trials connected with previous action in April.

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