Thousands close London’s bridges to ‘raise the alarm’ over ‘climate crisis’

Extinction Rebellion protest
Fréa Lockley

On 17 November, thousands of people occupied five bridges in central London. Protesters from Extinction Rebellion (XR) claimed that 6,000 people took part in the protest and that:

This is the first time in living memory that a protest group has intentionally and deliberately blocked the five iconic bridges of central London.

Rebellion Day

As The Canary previously reported, the XR campaign aims to get people taking part in non-violent but disruptive acts of civil disobedience. In a press release seen by The Canary, XR stated that this protest intended to:

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.

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.

The group called 17 November, Rebellion Day. It said this is:

The climax of Extinction Rebellion’s first week of civil disobedience against the British Government for its criminal inaction in the face of the climate and ecological emergency which we all face. This week, over 50 people have been willingly arrested. Today, thousands of people descend upon the capital. 


Clips shared on social media showed large numbers of people gathering throughout London:

Images showed the impact of the action:

After occupying the bridges, protesters headed to Parliament Square, for an ‘Extinction Assembly’. Representatives from six nations affected by climate breakdown – West Papua, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Kenya, Ghana and Mongolia – addressed the crowd:

According to the Metropolitan Police, by 5.20pm, 85 people had been arrested.


Leading environmental figures supported the protest. Green Party MP Caroline Lucas offered solidarity to protesters:

Green Party peer Jenny Jones and MEP Molly Scott Cato also took part in protests:

Other groups shared information and advice as reports of arrests rose:

Extinction Rebellion plans to continue action until the government acts upon its demands to:

  • Tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens.
  • Enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
  • Set up a national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.

Featured image via Oliver Campbell

Since you're here ...

We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.

The Canary Support

Comments are closed