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EXTINCTION REBELLION PROTESTS BLOCK MAJOR LONDON BRIDGES

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Protesters blocked off five major bridges in central London as part of a so-called “rebellion day”. Organisers said thousands gathered in central London to demand the government take greater action on climate change.

Protesters occupied Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges for most of the day, after a week of action by campaign group Extinction Rebellion.

They later moved on from the crossings to a rally in Parliament Square. Large groups of people holding banners began congregating on the five bridges from 10:00 GMT before blocking off the traffic.

Tiana Jacout, of Extinction Rebellion, said the blockages were “not a step we take lightly” but “if things continue as it stands, we face an extinction greater than the one that killed the dinosaurs”. “We have tried marching, and lobbying, and signing petitions. Nothing has brought about the change that is needed,”

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According to the group, 6,000 people joined the protests and more than 70 have been arrested for taking part. We haven’t seen a British green group quite like this before. It thinks marching with placards has failed, so it’s aiming to make mayhem instead.

The UK is in the leading pack of nations in cutting the CO2 emissions that are over-heating the planet. The Climate Change Act locks Britain into reducing greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050, based on 1990 levels, and the government has kept pace with the step-by-step targets so far, mostly by stopping coal-burning for electricity.

It promises to meet future targets too – although its advisers warn it has to improve by getting more electric cars on the road, and making homes and businesses more energy efficient.

The protesters say the targets will be breached if the government spends £30bn on new roads, encourages fracking and looks to expand aviation even further.

Climate change demands a seismic shift in society, they say. And they’re not seeing that yet.

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