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Extinction Rebellion activists arrested as police clear Lambeth Bridge

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L

ambeth Bridge has been cleared after police arrested several Extinction Rebellion protesters.

The last of the demonstrators were moved from the bridge after blocking it from traffic for several hours with several protesters were taken away in police vans.

It comes after hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Speakers’ Corner at Hyde Park before marching into the city centre and splitting up to “occupy” both Lambeth and Vauxhall bridges, where they prevented vehicles from crossing.

Crowds sat in the middle of the road, waving multicoloured flags bearing the group’s “extinction” symbol and placards that read “there is no planet B” and “we want to live” before the majority left the scene.

Met Police officers warned the remaining demonstrators they were causing “serious disruption” to the public and faced arrest.

Protesters, who include a large samba drum band, continue to block traffic on Vauxhall Bridge.

Earlier, police said the protests had shut down both bridges, which are major traffic arteries across the Thames.

The force tweeted: “There are multiple protests taking place across London today.

“At the moment Lambeth and Vauxhall Bridges are currently closed due to a protest.

“We are working with our partners to reduce the disruption to Londoners.”

However, demonstrators allowed ambulances and fire engines to cross, with organisers parting the crowd by shouting “blue light”.

Activist and student Kiri Ley, 21, from Birmingham, said the group is occupying the capital peacefully in order to try and force the Government to make change when nothing else has worked.

She told the PA news agency: “I know that very often people will question our tactics about disruption for example, to ordinary people, stuff like roadblocks, like gluing on, locking on, and so on.

“What I would ask people, if you make that criticism, is what actually do you suggest that we do?

“We tried all the other methods – we’ve written letters, we’ve marched, we’ve spoken to our MPs, we’ve done literally everything we can and time and time again we see them doing completely the opposite of what the scientific evidence says and this is what is left to us, really, we do it because we know it works.”

An Extinction Rebellion protester

/ PA

Earlier, campaigners spray painted red hands outside the London corporate offices of oilfield services company Schlumberger.

It comes a day after some 8,000 protesters flooded the streets of London, according to Extinction Rebellion.

On the first day of mass action on Saturday, they blockaded roads around Oxford Circus and Trafalgar Square.

Extinction Rebellion has vowed to “block areas of the city for as long as possible” every day for at least a week, and on the next three weekends.

On Friday, two Extinction Rebellion protesters shut down Tower Bridge during the morning rush hour by abseiling off the sides of the landmark.

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