Protesters block central London streets to demand action on climate change

World Today

Traffic in central London came to standstill after thousands of environmental protesters blocked the streets. They’re demanding an emergency plan of action to curb climate change and are threatening to continue their protests all week.

CGTN’s Juliet Mann has details.

This is Oxford Circus in Central London, a major shopping destination and a popular tourist attraction Environmental activists and protestors are blocking several streets in the capital. They are part of a grassroots group calling themselves the extinction rebellion.

“We are highlighting the fact that we are in a climate emergency,” said one protester. “That the climate scientists all over the world are saying that we are heading towards catastrophe if we continue living the way we’re living at the moment.”

“It’s spreading a message, it is causing disruption and sometimes with disruption, there needs to be a little bit of annoyance so that people stop and actually listen,” said another.

“It’s our dedication to consumerism, were not thinking about the situation that we have so something has to be done,” said a third.

Organizers hope people will converge around several London landmarks including the parliament and the Hyde Park area throughout the week and beyond. It is what they call “creative resistance”, a bid to block traffic around the clock.

“We’ve got to stop pretending that it’s going to be alright and that it’s going to work out OK,” said one older protester. “It’s not going to be alright and it’s not going to be OK and I am here happy to be arrested if and when they clear the road. I’m not going to go and if I get arrested, I get arrested.”

“We’ve been talking about climate change for 20 to 30 years and it’s going to take some radical action to make the government listen and to turn things into our favor and to make our future sustainable,” said a man.

The demonstration is one of dozens taking place in cities around the world. The protesters want the government to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025. It’s part of a global campaign to disrupt what they call business as usual and force governments to address climate change.

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