Climate change protests break out on 5 London bridges

By Sommer Brokaw   |   Nov. 17, 2018 at 3:19 PM
A pro-environment protester stands on the statue of former British Prime Minister and WWII leader Winston Churchill in London, Britain, Saturday. The protest organized by the Extinction Rebellion group shut down five main bridges across the river Thames, seeking to bring attention to political inaction on issues of pollution and climate change. Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA-EFE

Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Thousands of demonstrators occupied five bridges in London Saturday to protest what they consider to be the government's lack of action on pollution and climate change.

More than 6,000 people started protesting at around 10 a.m., blocking the crossings at Blackfriars, Lambeth, Southwark, Waterloo and Westminster, the campaign group Extinction Rebellion said.

The group is calling for the U.K. government to commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2025 and a reversal of policies they say are inconsistent with fighting climate change.

The Metropolitan Police said the demonstrators caused "significant traffic disruption" in central London before activists moved to a Parliament Square rally and all the bridges were reopened at around 4 p.m.

A green flag was attached to the walking stick of a statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square and officers surrounded the statue.

Protesters said action was needed to "raise the alarm" about climate change.

At least 85 activists were arrested during the protests for offenses such as obstruction of the highway.

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