Extinction Rebellion plans two weeks of disruption as parliament returns

Extinction Rebellion plans two weeks of disruption as parliament returns

Extinction Rebellion protesters are to begin two weeks of disruption in London, Cardiff and Manchester as they take to the streets from Tuesday to demand government action on the climate emergency.

In the morning XR activists will march towards Parliament Square in London from four different locations, where they plan to sit in the streets until MPs agree to back the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill.

Similar disruption will be taking place in Cardiff, where rebels will march from City Hall, and in Manchester, where protesters will congregate around St Peter’s Square.

The protests kick off on the day MPs return to parliament after the summer recess, and the organisation said it also intends to stage a protest outside parliament as Boris Johnson arrives for PMQs on Wednesday morning.

Anneka Sutcliffe, an XR action coordinator, said the network is expecting thousands to take part. “Obviously we’re expecting lower numbers than in October [last year] because of Covid-19 and because we’re encouraging social distancing,” she said, referring to XR’s previous major protest.

Activists held a Titanic-themed dinner party at Chalkwell beach, Southend-on-Sea, on 31 August to highlight rising sea levels.

As part of the buildup to the main demonstrations, regional XR events took place over the bank holiday weekend in over 30 locations. Two XR Youth members were arrested for blocking the Clifton Suspension bridge in Bristol on Friday, and banner drops and marches took place throughout the country.

XR said it has been warned by police it could face a GBP10,000 fine for organising a gathering of more than 30 people under current coronavirus restrictions.

Chris Newman, a GP who founded the Doctors for XR group, said: “The government have signalled that Covid is now controlled enough for schools to reopen. But just as children need an education to have successful lives, they need a planet that isn’t wrecked by shortsightedness, in order to be healthy.

“With this in mind returning to the streets to peacefully protest government negligence is our duty and our right.”

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