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Nurses and doctors join Extinction Rebellion movement

MORE than 100 healthcare professionals joined Extinction Rebellion protests at the weekend to warn of the health dangers of climate change.

Doctors, nurses and medical students were among those demonstrating at Jubilee Gardens, near oil giant Shell’s London HQ, on Saturday in the “Health March for the Planet.”

Several protesters leading the crowd wore hospital face masks, while others carried Extinction Rebellion flags and signs reading: “Climate change is a health issue.”

Alex Turner, 36, a paediatric and emergency doctor from Bristol who was wearing his blue scrubs and stethoscope, said: “We are meeting outside Shell because they are one of the biggest companies involved in the oil and energy industry, and they have real power to decarbonise that industry.

“We are protesting [against] illegal levels of air pollution.”

Another protester said raising awareness about the effects of climate change on health is part of their “duty of care as healthcare professionals.”

Scotland Yard’s latest figures show 1,307 arrests have been made so far in connection with Extinction Rebellion protests in the capital this week.

Belgium’s Princess Esmeralda was among those arrested after she joined a sit-in protest in Trafalgar Square on Thursday.

Princess Esmeralda Dereth, the daughter of the late Leopold III of Belgium and his second wife Lilian Baels, Princess of Rethy, says she was taken into a police van for questioning and held for around five hours.

The 63-year-old said in a Twitter post: “Today along with many other protesters I was arrested and put in police custody. The climate emergency calls on all of us to put pressure on governments to act with urgency.”

Former Paralympic cyclist James Brown appeared in court on Saturday morning charged with causing a public nuisance during the group’s protest at London City Airport on Thursday.

The 55-year-old, who is visually impaired, is accused of climbing on top of a British Airways plane and gluing himself to it, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.

Mr Brown denied causing a public nuisance and is due to stand trial on November 8.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Mr Brown, of Magdalen Road, Exeter, said: “Non-violent civil disobedience has proven itself time after time in history to bring about radical social change, and that is exactly what we need right now to divert us from this catastrophic path we are on.”

Extinction Rebellion continues its fortnight of action against climate change this week.

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