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CLIMATE change activists continued to storm the streets of Britain today as part of Extinction Rebellion’s (XR’s) “summer uprising.”
Activists in east London shut down London Concrete works by blocking both entrances to the site in Stratford’s Olympic Park and demanded the works’ expansion be halted due to “devastating” health effects on local residents.
Protesters blocked gates with banners that read “The air that we grieve,” stopping vehicles and workers from entering the site, while four more activists locked themselves to iron pipes.
The works supplies the £1 billion Silvertown Tunnel project being built under the Thames river.
Campaigners say local children’s health is being affected by the concrete plant as scans reveal their lungs have been inflamed by the dust produced.
The site is located next to a primary and secondary school.
Tower Hamlets borough resident Morgan Trowland said: “We have to pause and recognise the harm it is causing both locally and globally with the inextricable CO2 emissions involved which are destroying the world.”
XR activist Eleanor McAre said: “Concrete has a huge environmental impact and building another tunnel will only make air pollution across east London worse.
“The air pollution is already at dangerous levels and is affecting the health of children and adults in the area.
“With the siting of this industry right next to two schools, these children face a lifelong negative impact on their health.”
Local activists are concerned about the large levels of air pollution and say that children are growing up with stunted lungs while the government’s inaction on climate change is “pushing us all towards a catastrophic future.”
The action came on the second day of protests taking across five British cities, each focusing on a different environmental issue.
XR activists in Leeds parked bright yellow boats on Victoria Bridge and set up a protest camp — similar to the one in London’s Waterloo in April — to shine a light onto the financing of investments in fracking and coal industries.
Activists are aiming to remain on the bridge throughout the week with many willing to risk arrest as part of the campaign of civil disobedience to put pressure on the government and businesses.
Other cities involved in the XR action are Bristol, Cardiff and Glasgow.
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