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Paris, London: Activists block roads to draw attention to climate crisis

Paris, London: Activists block roads to draw attention to climate crisis

Activits of the climate change action group Extinction Rebellion block the Paris Grand Boulevard during a demonstration in Paris, on April 16 2022.

Extinction Rebellion, a large group of protestors calling themselves Extinction, demanded the slashing new infrastructure plans that are linked to fossil fuels. They also warned about climate change at demonstrations in the capitals of France and the UK.

Activits of the climate change action group Extinction Rebellion block the Paris Grand Boulevard during a demonstration in Paris, on April 16 2022.
Activists from the climate change group Extinction Rebellion block Paris Grand Boulevard in a demonstration that took place in Paris on April 16-2022.
(AFP)

In response to an exhortation from Extinction Rebellion, several hundred activists marched in London and Paris to demand that all new infrastructure related to fossil fuels be immediately stopped. They also warned about the climate crisis.

The group blocked major roads in central Paris, London, and disrupted traffic to protest “inactions” by world leaders on climate change.

Over the Easter weekend, activists took over 300m (980 feet) from central Paris’ main thoroughfare. Some of them moved in hay bales or cement-filled containers to block traffic.

Extinction Rebellion tweeted, “thousands” protesters were “occupying London’s Marble arch roundabout during a sit in near Hyde Park.

Demonstrators also fixed themselves to a limousine in central London.

In a tweet, the Metropolitan Police stated that the protest caused “significant traffic disruption” while that the protesters “locked onto an stationary vehicle in middle of the road… believed by be their own.”

The group’s activists had earlier glued themselves to a tanker on Saturday, blocking the vehicle from a road near Hyde Park.

A few hundred activists from the environmental group Extinction Rebellion set up shop on April 16, 2022 morning on part of the Grands Boulevards, in the center of Paris, in order to make it
A few hundred activists from Extinction Rebellion, an environmental group, set up shop in Paris on April 16, 2022, at the Grands Boulevards. This was in order to make the Easter weekend “a great agora”.
(AFP)

“End fossil filth”

Etienne Stott, Olympic canoe slalom winner in 2012, climbed onto the tanker of British energy giant Shell. They unfurled a banner calling for “End fossil filth,” Extinction rebellion.

Stott stated, “I am aware of the anger caused by my actions and I am ready to be held responsible.”

“But our government must also be held accountable for its decisions that are destroying our planet’s ability to support civilisation.”

According to the Metropolitan Police, six people were taken into custody.

Paris activists held up a large, red banner reading: “This world’s dying.” Let’s build another one. The protest will continue through Monday.

“Rebelling, our duty” was graffitied on a nearby wall.

“This is how we ensure that everyone talks about climate change,” Antoine told AFP. He was a young activist who declined his surname.

A line of French riot officers stood in front the protesters but did not intervene.

Activists from the climate change protest group Extinction Rebellion (XR) block Blackfriars Bridge in London on April 15, 2022, one of a series of actions aiming to stop the fossil fuel economy.
Activists of the climate protest group Extinction Rebellion, (XR), block Blackfriars Bridge in London, April 15, 2022. This is one of a series to stop the fossil fuel economy.
(AFP)

Anger at the government’s policies

Extinction Rebellion arranged a series of protests across Britain in the last week. This included closing down four of London’s busiest bridges.

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Emma Smart, a scientist from the group, was released on Saturday after she began a hunger strike in protest against her earlier arrest during an earlier week’s protest against the British energy ministry, Extinction Rebellion stated.

The government in London stated that ExxonMobil was among the many companies that successfully obtained injunctions to stop the campaign group Just Stop Oil from targeting several oil depots in recent days.

Last week, the British government presented an updated energy security strategy to address the aftermath of the war in Ukraine. The strategy included a greater emphasis upon nuclear power and renewable energies, as well as oil from North Sea.

Many activists have reacted negatively to this strategy and feel that the government is not doing enough for fossil fuels.

Many French environmentalists are feeling depressed after last weekend’s first round of presidential elections in which Yannick Jadot, Greens candidate, and Jean-Luc Melenchon, hard-left ecologist, were eliminated.

Next Sunday will see a second round between Marine Le Pen and President Emmanuel Macron.

City of London police speak with activists from the climate change protest group Extinction Rebellion (XR) as they block Blackfriars Bridge in London on April 15, 2022, one of a series of actions aiming to stop the fossil fuel economy.
City of London police talk with activists from climate change protest group Extinction Rebellion as they block Blackfriars Bridge, London, on April 15, 2022. This was one of a number of actions aiming at ending the fossil fuel economy.
(AFP)

Source: AFP

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