More than 500 arrested as Extinction Rebellion protests continue in London

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Police have arrested more than than 500 people during Extinction Rebellion’s protests in London.

The environmental group began their ‘Impossible Rebellion’ action on 23 August. The Metropolitan Police said since the action began, as of 6.30pm on Saturday 4 September they had arrested 508 people.

In a tweet that almost seemed to brag about the number, the Metropolitan Police Events account said:

March For Nature

It comes after another wave of demonstrations from Animal Rebellion and Nature Rebellion at Trafalgar Square on Saturday.

The groups ‘stand in solidarity’ with Extinction Rebellion. They met at the London landmark during the afternoon for a “March For Nature”.

Protesters could be seen in colourful costumes. And they held signs such as “The Amazon Rainforest Is At Tipping Point”, “Indigenous Emergency” and “Act Now”.

Speeches took place, campaigners chanted, while a large pink octopus creation was paraded around.

Animal Rebellion protests
A colourful protest took place on Saturday (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Extinction Rebellion also shared clips on social media of campaigners sitting in the road and holding signs to block traffic across the capital.

Heavy police presence

Deputy assistant commissioner Matt Twist said nearly 2,000 officers have been involved in policing the activists every day.

Twist told Times Radio on Friday 3 September:

It’s not the numbers of protesters but it’s the level of serious disruption that they’re looking to cause, which is impacting on other Londoners.

We’ve said right from the start, we know that Extinction Rebellion have the right to protest and the right to assemble.

But what we also made clear is these are qualified rights and they have got to be balanced against the rights of the rest of London and Londoners, the people, the businesses, the communities who want to lawfully go about their business.

Where we’ve seen cases of both very serious and totally unreasonable disruption looking to be caused, we have to take action and move in and make arrests.

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