London SE1 community website

Environmental protesters block five Thames bridges

James Hatts / Claire Meunier

Traffic on Lambeth, Westminster, Waterloo, Blackfriars and Southwark Bridges was halted on Saturday morning as hundreds of people took part in Extinction Rebellion protests.

Waterloo Bridge
Waterloo Bridge
Environmental protesters block five Thames bridges
On Waterloo Bridge police urged protesters to move on
Environmental protesters block five Thames bridges
Environmental protesters block five Thames bridges

Extinction Rebellion is a civil disobedience campaign which aims to provoke a national conversation about "climate breakdown and the ecological crisis".

Police urged the protesters to consolidate their activity on Westminster Bridge or face arrest for obstruction of the highway but their pleas were largely ignored.

More than 70 people were arrested during the day.

"The demonstration is having a direct impact on others across London who wish to go about their daily business and [preventing] the emergency services from using the bridges to travel around London," said Supt Waheed Khan.

"Given that the organisers failed to engage with police prior to the event, we were unable to work with them around their plan and to make considerations for other Londoners."

Writer George Monbiot was amongst those in the Blackfriars Bridge gathering. Members of Lambeth Green Party were involved in the Westminster Bridge protest.

Waterloo resident and Green Party peer Baroness Jones also lent her support to the action.

• Update Monday 19 November: Extinction Rebellion have asked us to note that they take issue with Supt Khan's claim that emergency services were obstructed by the demonstration and that they had held prior discussions with the Met and other services to negotiate access arrangements

The SE1 website is supported by people like you
This article on a map
Map
February at a glance
Keep up with SE1 news

We have three email newsletters for you to choose from:

We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

Archive
News archive from February 1999 to January 2001
Got a story for us?
Contact us with your tip-offs and story ideas.