Four London bridges have been forced to close by Extinction Rebellion climate activists who formed human barriers, blocking traffic and bringing delays to the capital.
Eco protesters lined the roads outside Blackfriars, Westminster, Waterloo and Lambeth bridges causing “delays and disruption” to people in central London.
Extinction Rebellion posted online: “Rebels are swarming across London, part of a global wave of civil disobedience as people wake up to the fact that our leaders are failing to tackle the climate crisis.
“They promise Build Back Better but all they do is pour oil on the fire.”
A scientist who was arrested for raising the alarm on climate change went on hunger strike yesterday evening after being denied bail by police. She is also refusing water. Emma Smart, an ecologist, was detained yesterday during a protest with 24 fellow scientists at the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in London on Wednesday. Instead of being released on bail she is being held at Charing Cross Police Station waiting for a court hearing on Saturday.
Along with eight other scientists, Emma has been charged with criminal damage after pasting scientific papers to the Government building and gluing themselves to the glass frontage. Their protests form part of the April Rebellion which is calling for an end to all new fossil fuel investments immediately.
Emma was also one of the Highway 9 who spent time in prison over Christmas for breaking an injunction with Insulate Britain. She said during her trial last year: “This court may see me as being on the wrong side of the law, but in my heart I know I am on the right side of history. I will not be a bystander.” Her determination and courage in the face of the horrors of the climate crisis and the inaction of our leaders is an inspiration to all of us and we send our love and strength to her at this time.
Emma’s husband, Andy Smith, said: “What kind of world do we live in when scientists are forced to put themselves into positions of arrest and hunger strike to be heard? And why has she not been released? This was a minor crime with no disruption to the public. Her treatment is disproportionate to her crime.
“Our politicians are aware of the severity of the climate emergency, every decision should be informed by science, not coerced for profit and greed. Emma knows what’s at stake if we don’t stop fossil fuel investments and she is taking a stand for her nieces future and all those around the world suffering now from this crisis. Everyone must stand with her now and come out on the streets to show the government that change is coming whether they like it or not.”
Air quality scientist Pete Knapp from Scientists for XR said: “The fact that Emma is being held beyond the usual 24 hours shows that the UK Government is effectively at war with climate science. They would rather lock up and silence experts sounding the alarm than do their duty and protect the public from catastrophic climate change. The science is totally clear: we must not drill for new oil and gas. Instead we must move to clean energy as quickly as possible. But our Government only last week declared it will licence new fossil fuel exploration in spite of repeated and dire warnings from scientists that this will lead to disaster. This is the flagrant dereliction of duty that Emma is calling out, and they are locking her up for it.”
dizzy: I’m busy away from the internet tonight and tomorrow a.m.