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POLICE in London mounted a pre-emptive raid on Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists ahead of protests which are expected to sweep through 60 countries today and last for two weeks.
On Saturday the Metropolitan Police raided a warehouse in south London where activists had stored equipment such as portable toilets, tents, cooking urns, thermos flasks, solar panels, car batteries, waterproofs, umbrellas and hot water bottles in preparation for their attempt to shut down the centre of the capital with road blocks and protests.
Police also confiscated six vehicles and arrested nine people during the early clampdown.
But the protest group said it was not deterred and made an appeal for donations of replacement equipment, pledging that the action will go ahead regardless with thousands expected to take part.
XR released a statement saying: “The government ordered police to seize tents, toilets and disabled access equipment — the very things that would make the International Rebellion in London safe, clean and accessible to all.
“Our lawyers advise that any attempt to remove essential well-being facilities, including first aid kits and essential sanitation, would be an abuse of police powers and an unlawful attempt to frustrate the exercise of the fundamental rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.
“The emergency isn’t going away. Neither are we. Escalation of pre-emptive tactics by the government and police is a sign that we are being heard and acknowledged as a significant movement.”
The London protests are among a wave of civil disobedience actions in 60 cities around the world.
Sainey Gibba from XR Gambia said: “The capital city of Gambia, Banjul, is less than one metre above sea level. Research says that by 2100 the city will be lost and my government aren’t talking about it. Nobody in the country is talking about it.
“The October event is a peaceful rebellion in which we will try and wake the governments into declaring a climate and ecological breakdown.”
Chittranjan Dubey from XR India said: “Across more than 10 cities in India, during Rebellion Week we will be performing mass die-ins.
“We, the citizens of India, are going to declare a climate and ecological crisis.”
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