Anti-fracking campaigners join protest to close five London bridges

181117 London protest Eddie Thornton2

Climate change campaigners block Lambeth Bridge in central London, 17 October 2018. Photo: Eddie Thornton

An estimated 6,000+ of people, including opponents of fracking from across the UK, closed five bridges in central London to highlight their concerns about climate change.

Eighty five people were arrested, most for obstruction of the highway, after sit-down protests blocked Lambeth, Westminster, Waterloo, Blackfriars and Southwark bridges.

The actions were the climax to the first week of a fortnight of civil disobedience, organised by the group Extinction Rebellion over what it sees as government inaction on climate change.

The group said activists were prepared to risk arrest to ensure the world avoids climate breakdown.

They are calling for the UK to:

  • declare a state of emergency around climate change;
  • create a zero carbon economy by 2025;
  • create a national assembly of ordinary people to decide what a zero carbon future would look like.

Extinction Rebellion said this was the first time in living memory that a protest group had deliberately blocked the five bridges of central London.

Celia B, of Extinction Rebellion, said:

“We are peacefully standing up for the earth and for humanity. People are dancing and singing and making new friends. This is a joyful rebellion and this is what the future looks like”.

Waterloo bridge was blocked at about 10.30am, Westminster at 10.52am, followed by Blackfriars, Lambeth at 11.01am and Southwark at 11.15am.

Today’s protest was followed by a march, and rally and tree planting ceremony in Parliament Square attended by an estimated 3,000 people.

Inka Stafrace, of Extinction Rebelliion, said:

“The tree planing ceremony at Parliament Square is symbolic of the dedication we must employ to regenerate our forests and all our natural lands. We must develop our cities with absolute resolve to make our cities green.”

More than 50 people were arrested earlier in the week follow protests across London.

Photos by Eddie Thornton

42 replies »

  1. Police attempted to facilitate ‘peaceful’ protest as the ‘rebels’ were hampering emergency services putting lives at risk. Due the ‘rebels’ not heeding to police demands there were arrests made. Disgusting.

    • Evidence of emergency services failing to get through and lives put at risk please oh wandering bard…..

      Due to the government not heeding to legally binding climate agreements there were protests made; wonderful

    • GBK

      1. Why do you feel the need to put the word peaceful in inverted commas?
      2. What was the emergency, details please, whose lives were at risk (apart from our children’s of course)?

    • GBK… Are you for real??? I am trying very hard in deed to understand, where you are coming from. Are you serious? I was there, and there was absolutely no problem with letting the emergency services through. Where were you???? No doubt sitting in the comfort of your own home [edited by moderator], whilst cunjouring up the next bit of dia-tribe for DoD.
      Yeah, there were arrests, like there were when women decided that they too should be given the vote, like Mandela, Sasulou and Mbeki did, fighting against the apartheid regime.
      In your world GTK… you want total conformity in your capitalist ideal.

      You really should be getting a bit wiser by now to what’s happening around the world and climate change. You need to understand the bigger picture GBK!!!

    • This is where the problem lies – people who know very little about energy policy are trying to push their ill-informed opinions on people who have a massive amount of expertise in this area. I notice that they have big headlines about when carbon targets should be reached but no practical solutions as to how those targets should be met.

      • You crack me up Nicky and best friend Judith…whilst people like you think the way they do, then energy policy will not change; money speaks volumes and also oppresses change.

        It will happen, or even you won’t be here to type [edited by moderator] on DOD….experts? bah humbug; illusions of grandeur!

        [hear changed to here]

        • hah that’s here not hear, damn you predictive text – seems to work the same as industry PR hype, appears to say one thing, but means something totally different; snigger

          • Sherwulfe. You continue to snipe with absolutely no evidence base for your position. So come on then give us all the benefit of your well thought out plan to decarbonise the UK by 2025?. So that is New Year’s Day 2025. Six years & 2 weeks from now. As Churchill said in his darkest hour “anyone who does not change their mind, cannot change anything” mɛtəˈnɔɪə

            • Sherwulf, To avoid benefit of doubt, you can have 7 Christmas holidays (hence six years & 2 weeks from now – assuming you have Christmas holidays!). If you get things wrong with your decarbonisation policy after News Years Day 2025, it could be always winter but never Christmas – so enjoy your Christmas’ between now & Jan 1st 2025 – and please take those days off. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

            • “anyone who does not change their mind, cannot change anything” – maybe it’s time for you to take this advice.

              If the evidence of exacerbated climate change due to fossil fuels had been listened to in the 1980s we would not be in the ridiculous countdown we are now in.

              You have spent 30 years barking up the wrong, dare I say, tree and yet you throw down a challenge such as this? I have spent the last 20 years living with minimized use of fossil fuels [not easy, as like sugar, oil and gas it intrudes in all our consumables], but as I have said many times, each has his own solution dependent of environment and economics and above all political will.

              Why is it, do you think, that this present government has taken away any assistance for us to move into a renewable future? And despicably investing in more fossil fuels using foreign aid budgets? [ ] Certainly not for a free market economy, but pleasingly the renewable industry has risen to the challenge. Why does a governance allow local objection to wind generation to refuse planning, but wants to allow fracking as permitted development? What fingers are in what pies, I wonder?

              You have to give credit to the devious way those who pull the purse strings of the blues keep up the pressure to support the few not the many [ but it is pure folly, like the Brexit fiasco….no it is unlikely that this deadline will be met, and as long as persons like you keep supporting the extraction of a product that will ultimately destroy the human race it will be a long an arduous battle. But survival will dictate winning or there will be nothing left to fight for…….

              I believe you are hung up on the word ‘snipe’, which by interpretation means you are feeling compromised. Being uncomfortable only proves there is conflict in you. If you were so sure of your beliefs, nothing would make you react. I am pleased we are moving ever forward, and look forward to the ‘revelation day’; are here to help 🙂

            • Sherwulfe – you need a base line to work with for your well thought out plan of decarbonising the UK, implemented by New Years Day 2025. Here are the latest statistics on UK

              I will make it easy for you. As it is quite likely our Parliamnent will screw up over Brexit, I will let you have a baseline of UK energy demand to be 20% below the latest annual published stats, required by the UK in 2025. Remember surface transport will need to hydrogen & or electric. Space heating & water heating would need to switch from gas to zero carbon electric, or direct renewable heating. Also a credible full life cycle green house gas emission & toxicity analysis is required for the 100% zero carbon UK by 2025 that you propose (no offshoring of emissions allowed – so full life cycle of imports required too, across all sectors – manufacturing, aviation, shipping, finance, agriculture, other services, etc.

            • Your arrogance precludes you from any credibility Nicky. A lost cause it seems. Maybe you have found [Dutch- opp, don’t shake rattle and roll] courage now you buddy is letting rip on other posts? Or maybe you are just one and the same?

            • Without political will all the plans in the world will not take shape; you would have to completely turn society around; that in itself seems impossible as we have too many believers in the church of oil and gas. But that does not mean we cannot surmount this and each day another innovation, company, individual, turns their back on fossil fuels and make the first steps towards a better world.

              There are a few who are making the change and political backing in part, to say we have a long way to go is the death nell of civilization as we know it.

              I cannot stress enough, it’s not a scary as you think, it’s adaptation, something we humans have been very good at so far….don’t spoil it and dig in your heals; time for all to change:
              If you need a quick fix – change to a renewable provider.
              If you have access to funds; use renewable generation and storage for your home; insulate and stop waste.
              If you are a consumer, ask yourself, do you need this? If so, can it be made from a sustainable source; do I really need a new phone?
              If you are a company, invest in better logistics, waste management, energy wastage. Can we be a social enterprise and not a support of the luxury yacht business?
              If you are a professional, how can you work in the sustainable industry rather than one which pollutes the planet
              If you are an individual, what small steps can you do to change; to love the world you live in rather than rape it’s resources for your vanity?
              If you are a government; stop the promotion of fossil fuels, divest investment from this industry and reinstate the support for wind, solar and development technology to reduce energy consumption. Put an environment tax on plastic except for essential (medical) use. Ban single-use plastic.
              If you are a supermarket, food producer use less plastic packaging and be responsible for recycling this.

              Small steps lead to bigger change…..

              Some news; five years time for Easyjet’s first commercial all electric plane; advantage – they can fly 24/7 – no noise.
              Even Statoil using wind turbines to provide electricity for the off shore rigs….

            • Thanks for the link.
              I did answer your post
              ‘Without political will all the plans in the world will not take shape; you would have to completely turn society around; that in itself seems impossible as we have too many believers in the church of oil and gas. But that does not mean we cannot surmount this and each day another innovation, company, individual, turns their back on fossil fuels and make the first steps towards a better world.’

              Just because you post a challenge does not mean acceptance, despite your persistent and obsessive requests…
              As I say Small steps lead to bigger change…..but you have walk the walk, not talk the talk 🙂

  2. More transparency from Ruth I see. [edited by moderator]
    Extinction Rebellion have a demo in London and it’s Anti fracking news. I know many a good campaigner who are anti fracking who are not aligned with ER/Occupy/RTP in the slightest and never will be.

  3. The anonymous contributor who hides behind the name GottaBKidding [edited by moderator] whose job it is to provoke people with his Trump-esque abuse and outrageous comments, and just waste everyone’s time when they could be doing something more useful . [Edited by moderator]

    • So Ellie – are you a mind reader or simply think that anyone who has a different opinion to you is paid to have said opinion?

    • Anonymous contributors – you can add quite a few to your list Ellie – Sherwulfe, One flew over the cuckoo’s nest, Dorkinian, Frackinglaw for sale – all just from this page. Are they all paid up Trolls of Greenpeas and Enemies of Industry, Caroline Lucas or even the Russians or Qataris?

      “Beware! Don’t Feed the Trolls!

      A troll is usually hungry all the time. They typically eat anything that doesn’t require hard chewing. According to myths, trolls like to eat humans. When they get the chance to catch a human, they immediately rip off the head and throw them away. The identified reason for this action is because trolls don’t like the taste of human brains.

      Trolls are afraid of water and do not like getting wet. Because of this, rarely will they clean themselves. These creatures are classified into two, the Mountain Trolls and the Woodland Trolls. Mountain Trolls are often wrapped with thick dirt and dust while Woodland Trolls are covered with dirt, leaves, moss and straws. In general, the only difference between the two is the size. The mountain trolls are bigger than the woodland trolls.”

      • Why have you posted yourself sitting on the toilet Paul? Psst – you’re supposed to pull yeh panties down first lovey 😉

      • Paul, I’m not sure about anonymity on DoD either, but it’s an anti-profiling measure.

        I did it because Europa Oil and Gas slapped injunctions on anyone who posted negatively on Facebook etc. about their plans to industrialise our much loved AONB, including the local toddler group for daring to organise a walk to Leith Hill Tower to raise awareness. Europa sought to ban access to the whole of Coldharbour Lane which runs from Dorking (where I live, obviously) to Coldharbour village. The people named on the Leith Hill injunction (many of whom weren’t actually campaigners beyond the odd FB post) still have their names handed around (illegally?) and appeared on UKOG and Angus energy injunctions too.

        So I decided not to make it easy for them to criminalise my normal day to day activities like passing within 5 metres from the camp entrance on the way to the pub, or my right to protest.

        • Dorkinian – thanks, understood. I don’t have a problem with anonymity. Ellie Gold seemed to be trying to infer GBK was hiding something which no one else is.

      • Please don’t refer to other contributors as “trolls” – these remarks will be moderated as they are usually a personal attack on another contributor. (And thanks for the picture Paul)

        • Paul [Moderator] – please note what I perceive as personal attacks on me, which legally might be classed as defamation, I wish did not happen, but for the sake of free speech, & trying to engage in an informed evidence -based debate on your site, I will endure [but obviously not threats of violence, wilful damage, or false accusations that would be in breach of criminal law etc]. I wish that all posters identified themselves so that they take responsibility & are accountable for what they say. If persons posting are instructed by courts not to do so, yet use an avatar, I suggest that the courts have good reason under UK & N. Ireland laws to have served that restriction on them & such persons should comply with the court order placed upon them.

          • We aim to remove personal attacks by posters on other contributors.

            Please draw our attention to any comments which give you concern using the Contacts page.

            We are unaware of any instance where courts have instructed people not to post on sites.

            • Regarding the ‘legally classed as defamation’, please refer to Section 1 of the Act 2013 [which] creates the new requirement that a statement must have caused or would be likely to cause serious harm to the claimant’s reputation. If serious harm to the reputation of the client cannot be established then that statement is not deemed to be defamatory.

              Disagreeing with another poster’s ideas is not defamatory, ‘what I perceive as personal attacks on me’ is just that, a perception; ‘threats of violence’ – Nick, what do you mean by this?

              Wouldn’t this outcry have been better as a personal message to the moderator via the contact form?

  4. I wonder how these 6,000 Hypocrites all got to London ?? Train-Bus-Car-Coach !!! All need fossil fuel to run ! Fail !

    • Please make sure no clean energy is coming to your house in any shape or form Malcolm, other wise we may have to return the compliment?

  5. Fantastic sad I was not there am full of solidarity thank you all lets keep on doing this have been standing in front of trucks for 4 years plus now….

    • Darwin award? The odds of getting run over must be increasing each time you stand in front of a truck? Not sure how you could be proud of this…..

  6. All very quaint, but in my youth we attracted bigger protests around school milk!

    Didn’t change anything then, either.

    Mind you we didn’t drag police resources away from dealing with an epidemic of knife crime, so we did receive a little more support from the public.

    • ‘we didn’t drag police resources away from dealing with an epidemic of knife crime’ – that’s reassuring to know, as is the fact that protestors of any cause don’t drag police away from any serious crime; that’s clearly the job of the budget setter in government…

  7. Wrong again Sherwulfe. If you think budgets are set to accommodate every possible and unlikely eventuality then have a word with Alice, as she may be the only sane person in your wonderland. Have you ever set a budget or operated one? I suspect you may have but have forgotten. For those of us who haven’t, it is amusing that when facts don’t fit how easy it is for some just to move to fantasy.

    I shall try it at the pub later and suggest to the landlord that my lack of funds are not due to excessive demand but just a case of an inadequate pension! I suspect he may answer-“if we imported less of what we could produce ourselves, then taxation upon that UK production might be directed to increase your pension.”

    Meanwhile, my son who works as an ambulance driver doing extra shifts due to high levels of sickness amongst his colleagues, so good news regarding income. Bad news regarding budgets. Contingencies only go so far, and then are no longer contingent.

    No wonder the majority outside wonderland are not shifting.

    • So by your reckoning all non-eventualities are not covered by funding? Maybe it;s time to take some taxes off Cuadrilla et al to pay for the policing Oh hang on, they haven’t made any money….or will ever pay UK taxes…..perhaps it should be put to the government to put in place the a similar scheme to that other great institution the NHS, you know that one that says non-residents and health tourists ‘no money, no help?’

      But back to the taking ‘police resources away from dealing with an epidemic of knife crime’; nope, does not happen.

      I see your ‘convenient to post family’ has expanded…….

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