UK police vow to stop repeat of climate-change protest chaos

21 Juillet, 2019, 21:57 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Extinction Rebellion activists gather around a boat opposite their camp on Waterloo Millennium Green as they stage a week of climate protests in July in London

THE police have warned the construction sector to expect more disruption in the days ahead after members of the Extinction Rebellion group chained themselves to the entrance to London Concrete's plant at Bow, in East London, earlier this week, preventing companies in the area from going about their business.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service also reported the climate milestone of the hottest June on record for Europe - and the rest of the world.

Police said they had been forced to divert officers from tackling crime and policing neighborhoods to deal with the protests - which including using a pink sailboat to block Oxford Circus, a major thoroughfare and shopping center.

"We thought that April [event] was wholly unacceptable", Laurence Taylor, deputy assistant commissioner of London's police, told reporters at the force's New Scotland Yard headquarters. In Britain, it has sought to maintain momentum this week by holding a "summer uprising" of smaller-scale protests in London, Leeds, Glasgow, Cardiff and Bristol.

"We will not tolerate the disruption that we saw in April, absolutely not".

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Extinction Rebellion says it wants to cause even greater disruption in October than it did in April, when protests included stopping trains, defacing the offices of oil major Shell and demonstrating outside Goldman Sachs. Extinction Rebellion has said it is considering a plan to force the airport to ground flights by flying drones at head height in an exclusion zone outside the perimeter to avoid posing any danger to aircraft.

The group has won the backing of scientists, researchers and academics who worry that the official response to the climate emergency and global heating is lagging far behind the severity of the problem.

Some 180 of the 1150 XR supporters arrested in April have been charged with public order offences.

Commander Jane Connors, added: "We absolutely recognise the right for people to protest however we will continue to take action against those who choose to break the law, to ensure disruption to Londoners is kept to a minimum".

A spokeswoman for London Concrete, part of Aggregate Industries and the capital's largest supplier of ready-mixed concrete, said the company was cognisant of the carbon footprint of cement and concrete and was at the forefront of efforts to mitigate climate change.

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