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#ExtinctionRebellion: Five bridges blocked in central #London – Activists plant trees in Parliament Square

More than 6,000 people have occupied five bridges in central London to raise the alarm on the climate and ecological crisis – and to put pressure on the Government to come clean on the fact that there is a climate emergency. More than 3000 people planted trees in Parliament Square tonight.

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Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

More than 6,000 people have occupied five bridges in central London to raise the alarm on the climate and ecological crisis – and to put pressure on the Government to come clean on the fact that there is a climate emergency.

This is the first time in living memory that a protest group has intentionally and deliberately blocked the five iconic bridges of central London –  Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges. [1]

Police have put signal blockers in place to prevent live streaming. There have been 22 confirmed arrests of protestors, people who willingly put themselves at risk of arrest and imprisonment to ensure that this cause is brought to the public’s attention.

Cecelia B of Extinction Rebellion said: “We are peacefully standing up for the Earth and for humanity. People are dancing and singing and making new friends. This is a joyful rebellion and this is what the future looks like.”

George Monbiot of the Guardian commented: “Something I have been waiting for, for a very long time, is happening. People are risking their liberty in defence of the living world in very large numbers. It is only when we are prepared to take such action that people begin to recognise the seriousness of our existential crisis.

Waterloo Bridge

Waterloo Bridge was blocked at approximately (10.31am) with roughly 250 people. At approximately (11:55am) protectors were told to move to Westminster Bridge, or risk arrest.

The atmosphere has been very Zen so far, lots of chanting and singalongs. Numbers have increased to roughly 600 at (12:25pm). No arrests.

(12:45pm) sound system arrives, people now dancing on Waterloo Bridge. Tina Louise Rothery due to speak in due course.

Westminster

Westminster Bridge has been an extremely lively bridge with several thousand people and numbers still growing – with music, bagpipes, drumming, with lots of people, celebs including Finn and Jack Harries and media. The bridge was blocked at 10.52am. No arrests.

Alice, 19, on Westminster Bridge said: “The sunshine is smiling down on us. The support and solidarity of the crowd is beautiful.

“I’ve come from Bristol today. I took the coach at 3am to make sure I didn’t miss it and i’m so glad that I did. It’s a tiny personal inconvenience and, having made it, I get to be part of a rebellion. This moment will be remembered in the history books, when we finally stopped allowing our leaders to take us over the cliff.

“I’ve just started university but I know that my future will be spent in crowds like this fighting for each other and for our future. There are flags that look so beautiful in the sunshine. Banners, placards, so many different kinds of people, different ages and ethnicities, all brought together because we care about climate change. I never imagined it would be so big!

Blackfriars Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge has been the family-friendly bridge with peaceful demonstrations of over a 1,000 people. 

Father Martin Newell CP, Blackfriars Bridge said: “What brought me here is the climate emergency, the extinction emergency, and my faith in God who created all this and whose creation we’re destroying and crucifying … I’m called as a Christian to protect our neighbour who’s being abused.”

Southwark Bridge

Over 500 protestors shut down Southwark Bridge at 11:15am. As of 12:15pm, 12 protesters have been willingly arrested (for public nuisance). Stephen, a protestor on Southwark Bridge, said: “Extinction Rebellion is in the process of making history. It has been a coordinated attempt to lock down London in a non-violent, peaceful protest for the Earth. Five bridges have been blocked. “The police were informed and they went in quite strongly at the beginning and arrested ten people but now they’ve stopped and calmed down and the vibe here is joyous and the sun is shining. And it feels really good to stand up for everyone, for the police officers here, for everyone in London and every being world-wide. “We encourage everyone, especially the government and the people in charge, to wake up and make choices that will lead to creating conditions that can transform society into one that is with life rather than against life. We’re getting the message across.”

Lambeth At 11:01am the bridge was blocked. About 500 protestors are currently on the bridge, there is a lively atmosphere with music playing. People are happy to be here showing their solidarity with climate change warriors all over the world. Twelve arrests have been made as of 1pm, charges unknown. Jack Gouldbourn of Extinction Rebellion: “Today is the day we show how many people have had enough and need a change. The democratic power we have when thousands of us come together to share our voice is powerful, and needs to be used more often!” 

A treeplanting ceremony has just taken place in Parliament Square with more than than 3K Extinction Rebellion protestors present. They planted three trees in the centre – plum, apple and evergreen – while singing a sufi song called “Always in Love”.

Today has seen more than 6K people come together to collectively face the climate and ecological crisis and demand that the Government tell the truth. Thousands of people started the day by occupying London’s five most central bridges – Southwark, Westminster, Blackfriars Waterloo and Lambeth. As the day went on, groups slowly united, bridge by bridge and came together at Parliament Square for the Extinction Rebellion Assembly and the interfaith closing ceremony.

Kofi from Ghana said: “Fantastic. It feels really great to be able to participate in occupying these bridges. It’s symbolic. Bridges have been built by the ruling class of Europe to extract resources from Africa which is resulting in extinction that has resulted in crisis. Through Extinction Rebellion we can transform these bridges into ones that connect us across the globe to repair the damage that has been done, to learn from each other, to mutually encourage and that will bring about the rebellion and bring humanity to its rightful place in the cosmos, to become true brothers and sisters. “It is possible. We have occupied these bridges. We can bring back life to the planet. This is the real making of history in the best traditions, when people come together in extremely challenging situations to come up from below and topple the entire edifice.” The sun is setting but this movement is just dawning. “With each fraction of global warming, we are further at risk of uncontrollable feedback loops leading to runaway climate change and ‘global hothouse’ effect,” said Inka Stafrace of Extinction Rebellion. “If we continue to emit CO2 at current rates for the next two decades it is unlikely that we will be able to survive the damage. The tree planting ceremony at Parliament square is symbolic of the dedication we must employ to regenerate our forests, rainforests, woods, and all our natural lands. We must develop our cities with absolute resolve to making our cities green.”Organisers are thrilled at the turnout and grateful for the 80+ people who were willingly arrested for the cause. We are also amazed by the global outpouring of support and thrilled to see solidarity movements in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Glasgow and more.  As the day winds down, people are tired but excited about having managed to disrupt London long enough to get our urgent message out.

Bing Jones from Sheffield “I came down from Sheffield with an affinity group, blocked off Lambeth Bridge and stood up against the police holding a banner on the north side. We held them back for some time, like good climate soldiers. But my time came and Iay on the floor , but was then was carried off by six police officers. They were very respectful and kind, and treated me  well. Was released after an hour or so but obviously had leave the bridge. I feel really good and the atmosphere was amazing. I have felt frustrated for years, even decades, and now feel a massive sense relief and elation. I’ve actually done something and the media is taking notice.”Bee from Folkestone “The police today said ‘we’re here to keep you safe’ and I thought ‘well, we’re not safe on a dying planet.’” And,”We can spend our whole lives signing petitions but it doesn’t change anything because no one pays attention. You’ve got to inconvenience them.” Kofi from Ghana “This kind of protest is doing honor to yourselves … To rebel for life we have created new chapters of history.” Now Ordur from Mongolia “My culture believes we have an umbilical connection to the Earth…….. For my children i cannot stay quiet.”Sarah Mynott, 32 “The tree planting was so inspiring, symbolic and moving. I spend a week every year planting trees in Scotland with Trees for Life, to see people do it here, outside Parliament in London soil is absolutely inspiring.” Stop the Mangesi Genocide “Before we can repair the harm we have to stop the harm”Sarah, 24 “We are all part of Extinction Rebellion. We need everyone to take action. Today I promised to be a part of this movement. This is just beginning.”  Tamsin “The sun is setting but this movement is just dawning. These trees represent the life that we are organising to protect. Go to Rebellion.earth and sign up to join Swarms that will disrupt the industries that are endangering our future.”


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1 thought on “#ExtinctionRebellion: Five bridges blocked in central #London – Activists plant trees in Parliament Square

  1. […] UK: More than 6000 people blocked 5 bridges during Rebellion Day on November 17. On November 24, RebellionDay 2 people will take the streets […]

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