Extinction Rebellion: Why were there protests on Tower Bridge - will there be more disruption in April 2022?

Protesters are to meet in Hyde Park before marching “into London to block areas of the city for as long as possible”.

Climate activist group Extinction Rebellion has said it will hit London with “highly disruptive” protests until the government meets its demands.

Protesters are to meet in Hyde Park before marching “into London to block areas of the city for as long as possible”.

XR has not specified what type of disruption Londoners can expect - but today members locked down Tower Bridge, causing huge diversions for traffic.

The protests start off in Hyde Park on Saturday April 9, and said it will continue its action until the government meets its demands to end all new fossil fuel infrastructure immediately.

In a statement, XR said: “People will gather at Speaker’s Corner every morning for a week or more at 10am, where there will be regular trainings in nonviolent civil disobedience and resistance tactics before marching into London to block areas of the city for as long as possible.”

And group has said this will be “disruptive and impossible to ignore.”

In terms of exact dates, XR encouraged its supporters to book time off work from April 9-17 and there are talks of further action on the following three weekends:

  • Sat/Sun April 23-24.
  • Sat/Sun April 30-May 1.
  • Sat/Sun May 7-8.

On Friday morning, protestors blocked traffic on Tower Bridge hanging a large 22m x 3m banner that read: “End Fossil Fuels Now.”

Extinction Rebellion drop huge banner off Tower Bridge on eve of Rebellion in London

Two people hung from the bridge by suspension cords and released red flares.

On Sunday hundreds of protesters blocked Vauxhall and Lambeth bridges, which resulted in 38 arrests.

The Met said it imposed conditions under section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 to clear protesters from around Vauxhall Bridge and officers physically removed the last of the activists - with a number being taken away in police vans.

It comes after eight days of continuous disruption at oil facilities by the Extinction Rebellion and the Just Stop Oil coalition, where oil depots have been blocked across Birmingham, London and the South West, resulting in fuel shortages in parts of the UK.

Amelia Halls, 23, of Extinction Rebellion, said: “It should come as no surprise that people are choosing to take action like this.

“Scientists are telling us that we cannot continue to invest in fossil fuels if we want to have a livable planet, and are risking their freedom to make the government listen.

“But rather than listening to the science, the government’s new energy strategy doubles down on oil and gas extraction in the North Sea.

“While people will struggle to pay their energy bills, energy companies make record profits.

“This opportunism is criminal, and shows disgusting disregard for the needs of ordinary people. Well, not in my name.

“I will not be a bystander any longer, and neither should anyone else who believes in a better world.”

Commander Ade Adelekan, Met police spokesperson for the planned Extinction Rebellion protests in London, said:“Extinction Rebellion have made their intentions clear in their public announcements that they plan to hold ‘mass action’ and block areas of London for as long as possible to draw attention to their cause.

“Everyone has the right to protest, and the public understands that protest will often result in a degree of disruption.

“However, the rights of protestors have to be balanced against the rights of the wider public, businesses and community.

“We have a comprehensive policing plan, together with colleagues from City of London Police, ready to consider using police powers should the protest result in serious disruption or involve anyone committing criminal offences.

“Our plan includes specialist teams on standby to respond to any protesters who lock or glue themselves to street furniture or complicated structures, should that be necessary.

“We have been in contact with the organisers in the run up to their event, and will continue to engage with them throughout the period, in an effort to avoid serious disruption to London’s communities.”

We will keep updating this article when more information comes available.