Activists block traffic in London Fashion Week protest

The Canary

Extinction Rebellion protesters angered motorists as they blocked roads in the capital on Saturday, demanding the cancellation of London Fashion Week.

Dozens of demonstrators prevented traffic from passing through a busy intersection leading to The Strand in Westminster, where the world-famous trade show is being held.

As queues of vehicles started to build up, taxi and lorry drivers could be heard honking their horns and swearing at the protesters.

Start your day with The Canary News Digest

Fresh and fearless; get excellent independent journalism from The Canary, delivered straight to your inbox every morning.




London Fashion Week February 2020
Extinction Rebellion a activists block traffic in The Strand in a protest against London Fashion Week (Aaron Chown/PA)

The action was part of the environmental campaign group’s calls for an end to London Fashion Week, which runs from February 14 to 18, claiming the industry is a major contributor to climate change.

Demonstrators initially blocked three roads for about 20 minutes before letting traffic pass. They then moved further down The Strand to block two lanes.

At one point a motorbike mounted the pavement to get past the group.

A taxi driver shouted “Just f****** move” to a samba band which stood in front of cars playing music,

Protesters carried placards reading “No more false fashion” and “No fashion on a dead planet”, while others wore dresses made from chains.

It comes after Extinction Rebellion members delivered a letter to the British Fashion Council (BFC) on Monday, calling for it to cancel the next London Fashion Week, in September.

London Fashion Week February 2020
Extinction Rebellion protesters were demanding cancellation of London Fashion Week (Katie Collins/PA)

Sara Arnold, who helped co-ordinate the protest, said: “London is home to the cutting edge of sustainable and ethical design, and yet, London Fashion Week lags behind.

“And, despite having an active political engagement programme, you have done almost nothing to lobby for environmental policies, without which a transition with the urgency we need is simply impossible.

“We have all failed but now radical leadership is required. We need you, the British Fashion Council, as appointed industry administrators, to find the power and courage to centre a visionary process and protocol, without delay.”

Ms Arnold said if the BFC does not cancel the September event, Extinction Rebellion will “build pressure” and “escalate” its actions.

Last September, protesters covered in fake blood glued themselves to the entrance to London Fashion Week, blocking access to the trade show.

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us