HUNDREDS of eco-warriors have taken over London’s Natural History Museum and staged a “die-in” this afternoon.
A huge group of Extinction Rebellion protesters lay down underneath the famous blue whale skeleton in the middle of the museum.
Extinction Rebellion describes itself as a non-violent direct action and civil disobedience group and has held London in its grip since last Monday with various protests.
Today the group asked people to join the “family friendly afternoon of peaceful protest”, before heading to Hyde Park.
They wrote on Facebook: “Please arrive at 1:30 for a 2pm start, we will not do a shout out nor gather in large groups but instead will all synchronise our watches and fall together at 2pm sharp in Central Hall (if you do arrive late, don’t be shy and just fall by our side).”
The plan appeared to be to lie still and silent for 20-25 minutes, as baffled families not involved in the protest attempt to carry on with their day out.
Eco warriors have demanded that the Government declares a climate emergency – they want politicians to take urgent action on climate change and wildlife declines.
In particular, it wants the UK to reduce its carbon emissions to “zero by 2025” and do more to “remove the excess of atmospheric greenhouse gases”.
On Monday, April 15, the environment “rebels” launched a range of attention-grabbing tactics to gain headlines, and prompt politicians into taking action to “avoid irreversible climate change and ecological collapse”, and they vowed to keep going for two weeks.
The activists have brought parts of busy London to a standstill with widespread demonstrations.
‘PUTTING A STRAIN ON US’
Cops have said 1,065 arrests have been made since last Monday over the protests in central London.
The Met said it had cancelled officers’ rest days and leave over the Easter weekend in order to deal with the disruption, as well as violent crime.
The force said: “Throughout the course of today, Thursday, 18 April, we will have had more than 1,000 officers on the streets policing the demonstrations.
“This is putting a strain on the Met and we have now asked officers on the boroughs to work 12-hour shifts; we have cancelled rest days and our Violent Crime Task Force (VCTF) have had their leave cancelled.
“This allows us to free up significant numbers of officers whilst responding to local policing. We would also like to reassure people that we have ring-fenced the VCTF so we retain the capacity to deal with any unrelated violent incidents.
“However, the protesters need to understand that their demonstration is meaning officers are being diverted away from their core local duties that help keep London safe and that this will have implications in the weeks and months beyond this protest as officers take back leave and the cost of overtime.”
Cops had been criticised over their failure to stop the illegal protest as it entered its fourth day with activists now blocking Waterloo Bridge, Vauxhall Bridge, Oxford Circus and Parliament Square.
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