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Environmental protesters bring central London to a halt

Thousands from Extinction Rebellion block major routes throughout the capital demanding the government takes immediate action to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025

ENVIRONMENTAL protesters shut down parts of central London today in several direct action demonstations.

The activity was in demand for a radical change to the government’s approach to climate change.

Thousands of supporters of campaign group Extinction Rebellion blocked major routes throughout the capital including at Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Parliament Square.

They are calling for the government to take immediate action to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025.

Organisers say that the roadblocks are expected to continue for at least a week.

The protesters have also said that the government must do more to ensure that climate change is featured more prominently in the national curriculum.

Protesters smashed the glass doors at the offices of oil company Shell.

They also sprayed graffiti on the building with messages such as “Shell knows” — in reference to the company being aware of the effects of fossil fuels on the planet.

A pink boat with the slogan “Tell the truth” was parked on the street at Oxford Circus while protesters spoke at a rally. 

Labour councillor Skeena Rathor said at the rally: “We’re here today to tell the truth and it’s the hardest thing to do right now.

“It’s the first demand and the most courageous step.”

Extinction Rebellion supporter Professor Jem Bendell also told the crowd: “For 20 years I was slaving away trying to make business and finance friendlier to the environment before realising that it is too late. It is too late to change this situation.

“We have to be brave enough to have a conversation about where we can go next, even if it is a difficult conversation.

“We’ve woken up to a warm dawn in what is a dangerously hot century.

“Forests are catching fire, crops are failing, insects are dying in vast numbers. We must gather and rebel.”

At Waterloo Bridge a “garden bridge” was created by activists who decorated it with flowers while a minature skate park was set up.

Demonstrators slept in Hyde Park last night after having travelled across the country to attend the “carnival of action.”

They were warned by police that they could be breaking the law by sleeping in the park under royal parks legislation.

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