LONDON (Reuters) – London police have made more than 300 arrests as climate-change protesters, labelled “uncooperative crusties” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, continued two weeks of civil disobedience to push for more to be done to protect the environment.
Police officers detain an Extinction Rebellion protester during a demonstration outside the Home Office in London, Britain, October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
On Monday, the Extinction Rebellion group took action in several countries including Britain, Germany, Austria, Australia, France and New Zealand as they lobby politicians to go further in cutting carbon emissions.
The protests are the latest stage in a global campaign for tougher and swifter steps against climate change coordinated by the group, which rose to prominence in April when it snarled traffic in central London for 11 days.
London police said 319 arrests had been made by the end of Monday and Johnson criticised the activists.
Speaking at an event on Monday evening he said: “I am afraid that the security people didn’t want me to come along tonight because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties,” using a slang British term for eco-protesters.
“They said there was some risk that I would be egged,” he added.
On Tuesday, some protesters hit back at him.
“It’s not helpful,” Diana Jones, from the southern English county of Sussex, told Reuters.
“We’re just ordinary people trying to express our deep disappointment with how slow the process of getting climate change action to occur is taking place, with the government not really listening, not really taking it forward on the scale it needs to be taken.”
The group wants Britain to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 rather than the government’s 2050 target.
Reporting by Simon Dawson, Helena Williams, Henry Nicholls and Ben Makori; writing by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison