LONDON (Reuters) – Thousands of climate activists took to the streets of cities around the world on Monday, launching two weeks of peaceful civil disobedience to demand immediate action to reduce carbon emissions and prevent environmental disasters.
Anti-riot protesters demonstrate at Trafalgar Square in London, UK, October 7, 2019. RATERS / Peter Nichols
In London, police have arrested 135 activists from the Extinctions of Extinction group as they blocked bridges and roads in downtown and roads cars, while protesters in Berlin stopped traffic at the Victory pillars.
Dutch police have arrested more than 100 climate change activists covering the street in front of the National Museum of the country, and similar protests have taken place in Austria, Spain, New Zealand and Australia.
"WISH we blocked the road, but it's an emergency," announced the posters held by activists in Amsterdam.
The protests are part of an international two-week campaign coordinated by a fighter rebellion, a campaign group that came to prominence in April, when it disrupted transportation in central London for 11 days.
They are the latest in a series of demonstrations against climate change. Last month, millions of young people flocked to cities around the world, inspired by the actions of 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.
The extinction rally says it expects peaceful protests over the next two weeks in more than 60 cities from New Delhi to New York to urge governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025 and end biodiversity loss.
Knocking on drums and chanting, protesters in London seized Trafalgar Square and marched on the Mall, leading to Buckingham Palace, bearing banners like "Climate change robs our children of our future."
"We are here because the government is not adequately addressing the climate emergency," protestor Lizzy Mansfield said in London. "We have only one planet, so we are here to try to protect it."
Last week, police chiefs said they would mobilize thousands of protest officers in London and anyone who broke the law, even as part of a non-violent civil disobedience, would be arrested.
On Saturday, officers used a ram to enter a building in south London where activists kept materials used during protests. Eight people were detained during the raid.
Without succumbing to the almost frosty temperature in Berlin, activists who sang "Solid as a rock, rooted as a tree" gathered at dawn near the Victory Column near Berlin's Tirgarten Park.
At sunrise, some were sleeping in warm bags in the middle of the ring when police were riding motorcycles. There were no arrests, the protest remained peaceful.
Police have blocked five avenues converging at the roundabout to stop the cars and buses getting to the demonstration, as it would cause havoc at rush hour.
By noon, the protest had spread to 4,000 people, said a police officer, and activists sitting in the middle of the road also blocked the second main ring.
The rally took place when German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended climate protection measures, which the government must approve on Wednesday, which were condemned by critics as unambiguous.
In Amsterdam, police lined up empty city buses to take arrested demonstrators as they tried to clear the main thoroughfare in the afternoon.
"The climate crisis is not taken seriously by politics or by companies. That's why I joined," said one of the demonstrators, who called him a Christian.
Meanwhile, in London, activists wearing a yellow helmet with Rebels at work, painted on the side, glued or chained themselves to cars parked in the middle of roads or to streetlights, complicating police detention. .
"We are over, there is nothing left, we need to act now," Benjamin protested.
Reports from the Reuters Bureau in London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Sydney and Madrid; writing by David Clark; Editing Provincial Char