London Marathon: Extinction Rebellion to protect runners and attendees at The Big One in Westminster
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Discussions have been held between marathon organisers and XR, which is holding The Big One - a four-day protest in Westminster, beginning on Friday. Stewards and those attending both events are being asked to protect the safety of attendees, spectators and runners.
XR said it has no plan to disrupt the London Marathon, and a spokesperson said: “We always planned to run alongside the Marathon without interference. In fact, there are XR runners entering the race.
“We take direct action to keep the most consequential crisis of our times in the news, but everyone, and all of the groups coming to The Big One understand now is the time to unite to survive for a moment of disruption of a different nature and so do the marathon organisers. We have more in common than many might think: we want peace, unity, clean air. We want the same things.”
Marathon race director Hugh Brasher said: “They will be uniquely asking all their participants to help guard the London Marathon. To do something that is quite unique in their history, to protect what is one of the crown jewels of British sport.”
He added: “The environment is enormously important, it is part of our DNA. We are reaching out to all parties because we run together - for charity, to celebrate humanity, for our communities, and we run together in peace.
“We really hope for an amazing weekend when the true goodness of humanity shines through.”
Talks are due to take place with Just Stop Oil, whose activists this week halted play in the World Snooker Championship.
XR has pledged to step up action if the government does not come to the negotiating table by 5pm on Monday April 24. The group said it selected the weekend of April 21-24, as it falls over Earth Day on April 22 – and with the London Marathon taking place, there are already multiple existing road closures.
The third day of The Big One, called Running Out of Time, sees the marathon route cross near Parliament Square. Visitors to both events are being advised to allow extra time for travel, especially around Westminster.