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Climate change activists block London bridges with 85 arrested

Hundreds of people staged sit-in protests on five of the city’s crossings under the Extinction Rebellion Banner.

Police have arrested 85 people following a mass environmental demonstration.

The arrests came as a result of Saturday’s Extinction Rebellion climate change protests around London, the Metropolitan Police said.

Most have been detained under the Highways Act after hundreds of people staged sit-ins on five of the capital’s central bridges.

Saturday’s action on Lambeth, Westminster, Waterloo, Blackfriars and Southwark bridges gave bands and speakers the opportunity to address the crowds and followed a week of protests around the UK under the Extinction Rebellion banner.

On Monday, 22 people were arrested after protesters blocked traffic and glued themselves to entry gates at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

On Wednesday, more activists were detained following action near Downing Street and at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Westminster.

One organiser of Saturday’s event warned of starvation in the UK if there is no change to environmental policy.

Gail Bradbrook claimed: “We could easily be facing starvation in the UK if the weather effect continues as it is”.

“We need to be building resilience in our communities,” she added.

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Demonstrators on Westminster Bridge (John Stillwell/PA)

Dr Bradbrook said: “We’ve basically got three demands – one is that the Government have to tell the truth.

“People think that climate change is something happening to somebody else at some other time but it’s coming home.

“We need to go to net zero carbon really quickly. And we’re also asking for a people’s assembly so people can decide how the change happens.

“We’ll know when governments are doing different things, it could feel like a war, a beautiful war. It’s going to be huge.”

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Activists outside the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (John Stillwell/PA)

On Saturday, campaigners expressed anger at the current state of climate policy.

One protester, Lewis, who described himself as being involved in environmental civil disobedience for more than 10 years, claimed current trends are making the world “uninhabitable”.

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Demonstrators on Westminster Bridge (John Stillwell/PA)

He said: “We’re living in a time where we know we’re destroying the planet through our activities causing dangerous quantities of CO2.

“We’re destroying the life systems on which we depend and are on course to turn the planet into something uninhabitable.”

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