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CLIMATE crisis activists resisted police pressure to clear out of central London today by gluing themselves to a government ministry in Whitehall.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters attached themselves to the Department for Transport building today and to the underside of a lorry outside the Home Office.
The action was in defiance of notices handed out by the Met Police, threatening arrest if protesters did not remain in Trafalgar Square.
Campers outside the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, who are demanding that money allocated for Trident nuclear missiles should instead be used to combat climate change, had their tents cut open by officers armed with scissors during a downpour of rain.
Activists had spent Monday night camped in Trafalgar Square to maintain their blockade of Westminster’s streets.
Demonstrators claimed that the police had confiscated food, camping equipment and disabled access toilets — the latter leaving them forced to use buckets.
One activist was arrested in the square after he sat locked to the top of a trailer for more than 24 hours.
The Met Police said this afternoon they had arrested 152 people in addition to the 319 arrests made by midnight on the first day of action yesterday.
Elsewhere XR campaigners created a “forest” in Parliament Square by placing 800 potted trees, some of which are dedicated to MPs who are being encouraged to plant billions more in Britain and globally.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanded that the “unco-operative crusties” abandon their “hemp-smelling bivouacs” and stop holding up traffic.
In response, activist Claudia Fisher from Brighton said: “We are a little bit crusty after a night sleeping out on the grounds of Whitehall, but we’re not unco-operative.”
She said: “We don’t go around calling people names, that’s not the way we do things. We’d really like him to show us the same respect and hear what we have to say.”
Shadow employment minister Mike Amesbury, who joined the protesters, said he found them to be “ordinary people like you and me, from all walks of life, who just want someone to listen.”
Further action is planned until the end of next week. It includes a planned occupation of London City Airport on Thursday where activists will sit, lie down or glue themselves to the departures and arrival gates in a bid to shut down Britain’s most exclusive runway.
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