82 arrested as hundreds block bridges across London in 'rebellion' against climate change policy

Some 82 people have been arrested after hundreds of protesters gathered in central London in attempts to block five bridges on Saturday, as they demanded the Government take greater action on climate change.

The group Extinction Rebellion encouraged people to perform a sit-in across Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges on following a co-ordinated week of action around the UK.

Following their closures, all bridges have now reopened following the demonstrations.

The arrests were made for obstruction of the Highway Act and Bail Act offences.

Organisers estimate that a further 50 people have been arrested for partaking in action over the last week, with 22 people being detained on Monday after protesters blocked traffic and glued themselves to entry gates at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Two protesters, who did not want to be named, explained why they were demonstrating: "I have concern for my children and grandchildren.

"I truthfully believe we're all heading for extinction," one said.

The other added: "Climate change is so important, it's coming over so fast and nothing is being done."

Like other protesters, they called on the Government to halt fracking programmes and "work hard to reduce carbon emissions to zero long before 2050," which is the current goal.

Jack Gouldbourn of Extinction Rebellion said: “Today is the day we show how many people have had enough and need a change. The democratic power we have when thousands of us come together to share our voice is powerful, and needs to be used more often.”

Dr Gail Bradbrook, one of the protest organisers, said: "We could easily be facing starvation in the UK if the weather effect continues as it is.

"We need to be building resilience in our communities, we need to go to net zero carbon and we're also asking for a people's assembly so that the people can decide how the change happens."

When asked if the Extinction Rebellion demands were achievable, Dr Bradbrook said: "We don't have a choice, because nature is going to have the last word on this one."

In a lighter moment - a newly married couple took full advantage of an empty Westminster Bridge to secure a picturesque wedding picture.

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