Thousands of climate change protesters descend on London

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Thousands of climate change protesters descend on London

Thousands of environmental protesters are hoping to ‘shut down’ London today in order to force the government to ‘declare a climate emergency’.

Activists led by the climate change group ‘Extinction Rebellion’, have come from across the UK, for what is described as an ‘international rebellion’.

They have pledged to block five central locations including Parliament Square, in a ‘non-violent act of resistance and rebellion’ that campaigners say could last for weeks.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matthew Chattle/REX (10204045a) Extinction Rebellion and Earth March climate protesters in Hyde Park, London. Extinction Rebellion protest, London, UK. - 14 Apr 2019.

Extinction Rebellion and Earth March climate protesters in Hyde Park, London (Picture: Rex Features)

A crowd of protesters gathers in Hyde Park, London where Extinction Rebellion environmental activists are preparing to conduct multiple demonstrations in the coming days. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 14, 2019. The protesters are aiming to "shut down the city" and from Monday will converge on five busy locations throughout London, peacefully blocking traffic and creating a "festival" of action. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Climate. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The protesters are aiming to ‘shut down the city’ (Picture: PA)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matthew Chattle/REX (10204045c) Extinction Rebellion and Earth March climate protesters in Hyde Park, London. Extinction Rebellion protest, London, UK. - 14 Apr 2019.

Some protesters have arrived on foot from across the UK (Picture: Rex Features)

The ‘festival of action’ is expected to converge on Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, as well as near Parliament.

It will involve people’s assemblies, performances, talks, workshops and food, campaign group Extinction Rebellion said.

Campaigners have also suggested that participants could attend ‘training sessions and briefings to make sure everyone is prepared for the mass civil disobedience to follow’, warning that while the movement is a peaceful one, there is always the possibility of arrest.

Demonstrators arrived at London’s Hyde Park on Sunday, with some having made the journey to the city on foot in recent weeks.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matthew Chattle/REX (10204045b) Extinction Rebellion and Earth March climate protesters in Hyde Park, London. Extinction Rebellion protest, London, UK. - 14 Apr 2019.

The ‘festival of action’ is expected to converge on Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, as well as near Parliament (Picture: Rex Features)

Climate protest group Extinction Rebellion set up camp in London???s Hyde Park ahead of a week of planned protests in the capital. Featuring: Atmosphere, View Where: London, United Kingdom When: 14 Apr 2019 Credit: Wheatley/WENN

Climate protest group Extinction Rebellion set up camp in London, Hyde Park (Picture: Wheatley/WENN)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matthew Chattle/REX (10204045e) Extinction Rebellion and Earth March climate protesters in Hyde Park, London. Extinction Rebellion protest, London, UK. - 14 Apr 2019.

The protesters want to force the government to ‘declare a climate emergency’ (Picture: Rex Features)

A crowd of protesters gathers in Hyde Park, London where Extinction Rebellion environmental activists are preparing to conduct multiple demonstrations in the coming days. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 14, 2019. The protesters are aiming to "shut down the city" and from Monday will converge on five busy locations throughout London, peacefully blocking traffic and creating a "festival" of action. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Climate. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Scotland Yard said they have ‘appropriate policing plans’ in place (Picture: PA)

A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said: ‘Ordinary citizens, terrified by the threat we all face to our future, will risk arrest and imprisonment by blocking bridges, roads, harbours and transport systems.

‘Die-ins, cry-ins, funerals, banner drops, “blood” spilling, art and theatre will be part of a festival of global protest.

‘In London, people are willing to be arrested and to stay.’

Scotland Yard said they have ‘appropriate policing plans’ in place and that officers will be used from across the force ‘to support the public order operation during the coming weeks’.

They added: ‘We will always provide a proportionate policing plan to balance the right to a peaceful protest, while ensuring that disruption to communities is kept to a minimum.’

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