Watch as XR protesters blockade Lloyd's of London - five arrests

Extinction Rebellion activists say the insurance industry "has a unique opportunity to stop climate and ecological breakdown".
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Climate activists blockaded the Lloyd’s of London building on Wednesday (February 28) to protest the insuring of fossil fuel projects and infrastructure.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists linked hands in a 300m human chain, allowing Lloyd’s staff to leave the building but not enter or re-enter.

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They carried banners featuring slogans including “Don’t Insure Climate Chaos” and “Refuse EACOP”, referring to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.

City of London Police said five people have been arrested in relation to the protest, with orders put in place to give officers additional stop and search powers and to prevent roads and pavements from being blocked. The force said a van was stopped in Tower Hamlets and a man was arrested on suspicion of possession of articles with intent to commit criminal damage.

XR spokesperson Marijn van de Geer, 41, from West London, said: “We are here because the insurance industry has a unique opportunity to stop climate and ecological breakdown.”

She said insurance companies could prevent new fossil fuel projects and companies being established by refusing to insure them.

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“We’ve been talking to a lot of people outside here from the insurance industry, and they’ve actually largely been very positive in engaging with us," she said.

Also speaking at the event was actor Will Attenborough, great-nephew of broadcaster and biologist Sir David Attenborough. He said XR’s views on preventing global warming are mainstream positions shared by individuals including United Nations secretary-general António Guterres.

He referenced a quote saying "no one should profit from the rising seas, temperatures, and human suffering caused by the burning of fossil fuels". “That was ‘total madman’ Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu,” he joked.

XR protesters outside Lloyd's of London.XR protesters outside Lloyd's of London.
XR protesters outside Lloyd's of London.

Extinction Rebellion’s London chapter has targeted insurers with protests throughout the week, including occupying the offices of major insurers Tokio Marine, Probitas, Talbot, Travellers, and Zurich on Tuesday.

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The activists demanded to meet company bosses and talk about their decision to continue greenlighting what an Extinction rebellion press release referred to as “some of the worst fossil fuel crooks in the world”.

It is understood Lloyd's of London put on extra security to stop anyone entering the building but that no staff were sent home, contrary to some social media rumours.

Lloyd's of London was contacted for comment.

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