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Extinction Rebellion block off Oxford Circus

Climate change activists brought traffic to a standstill after building a wooden structure at the busy junction.

Extinction Rebellion protesters block the road at Oxford Circus (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Extinction Rebellion protesters block the road at Oxford Circus (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

By PA Reporter

Extinction Rebellion protesters have blocked one of London’s busiest transport hubs.

Climate change activists built a wooden structure at Oxford Circus in London’s West End, bringing traffic to a standstill.

Police then surrounded the demonstrators.

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Protesters block the road at Oxford Circus (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

It comes as Extinction Rebellion is planning a “red handed” protest which will see it spray-paint hand prints around Westminster.

Elsewhere, fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood joined members of Free West Papua and Extinction Rebellion activists outside the London head office of BP, where they were delivering a report on the company’s activities in West Papua.

An Extinction Rebellion spokesman said of the Oxford Circus protest: “The end of the Rebellion approaches, and Oxford Circus has once again been occupied by Extinction Rebellion, to be used as a space of community and democratic resistance.

“We are coming together to tell the truth, and to bring attention to why we are protesting. It’s not about causing meaningless disruption; we have a vital message to bring – the consequences of the climate and ecological crisis are horrific.

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Dame Vivienne Westwood with members of Free West Papua and Extinction Rebellion outside BP’s London HQ (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“Extinction Rebellion, as well as other movements around the world including the climate strikes and decades of indigenous resistance, are using the beacon of civil resistance to shine a light on this emergency.”

The group, which launched its latest campaign 10 days ago, said it will use washable chalk spray to mark the path of its march from Whitehall Gardens to six government departments.

A spokesman said: “We will raise our red hands, taking responsibility for our actions – we all have blood on our hands.

“We march in admission and recognition of the part we play in the injustice of this emergency, and the ongoing suffering of thousands of people around the world due to the climate and ecological breakdown.”

The Autumn Uprising is due to end at 6pm on Saturday.

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Dame Vivienne Westwood (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

On Thursday, Extinction Rebellion was forced to apologise after activists targeted a Tube train at Canning Town station.

One activist was dragged from the roof of the train by an irate commuter.

Video then showed the activist apparently kicking out at the person who had pulled him to the ground.

Extinction Rebellion said it was “aware that one of our activists responded in self-defence in a moment of panic when confronted by a threatening situation”.

The group apologised for the disruption caused to commuters, but said the incident should not create “unnecessary division”.

PA

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