UK police arrest 10 climate activists before protests

by Reuters
Saturday, 5 October 2019 14:46 GMT

Police officers detain a man outside Lambeth County Court, during a raid on an Extinction Rebellion storage facility, in London, Britain October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

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Police made pre-emptive arrests for conspiracy to obstruct highways, said the climate group, which has pledged fresh protests next week

LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - British police arrested 10 climate change activists in London ahead of a planned new round of protests by Extinction Rebellion on Monday, police said.

A Reuters photographer said he saw police using a battering ram to break down a door and enter a former court building that was used by Extinction Rebellion to store equipment.

A spokeswoman for London's Metropolitan Police said seven women and three men had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance.

Extinction Rebellion said the arrests represented an "escalation of pre-emptive tactics by the government and police" and was a sign that it was considered a "significant movement" by the authorities.

"We ask that the government focus their attention and resources on responding to the climate and ecological emergency which threatens us all," it said in a statement, calling for donations of kitchen and sound equipment, food and tents and other items to replace material seized on Saturday.

The group staged 11 days of protests in London in April that disrupted public transport and roads.

On Thursday, Extinction Rebellion activists used a fire engine to hose red liquid at the British finance ministry's headquarters in London to draw attention to what they said was the government's failure to avert climate disaster.

(Reporting by William Schomberg and Simon Dawson; Editing by Alexander Smith, Hugh Lawson, William Maclean)

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