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Extinction Rebellion

Climate change protesters block London’s Tower Bridge, vow more disruption

Climate change protesters block London’s Tower Bridge, vow more disruption
Members of climate pressure group 'Extinction Rebellion' hang a protest banner from Tower Bridge in London, Britain, 08 April 2022. Two Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists have caused traffic disruption by suspending themselves from Tower Bridge. They used suspension cords to hang from the landmark and hang a banner reading 'End fossil fuels now'. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) - Climate change activists forced the closure of London's famous Tower Bridge on Friday in the latest protest ahead of what they have warned will be even more disruptive action in the British capital.

The Extinction Rebellion (XR) group said two protesters had released flares after dangling from the bridge by suspension cords and a large banner had been hung over its side as part of a campaign to force the government to end its reliance on fossil fuels.

Police said the bridge was closed to traffic and officers were on the scene.

XR and other environmental groups have been staging daily protests at oil facilities in London and elsewhere in Britain since last Friday, and have vowed their “April Rebellion” will cause more significant disruption in the capital next week.

They want the government to commit to ending all new fossil fuel infrastructure immediately, and have said their tactics would seek to “block areas of the city for as long as possible”, switching tactics from “nonviolent civil disobedience to civil resistance”.

Three years ago, the group’s protests, which included dragging a large pink boat to Oxford Circus, one of the capital’s the main shopping districts, caused traffic chaos.

“This Rebellion will centre ‘people power’ at its core, encouraging everyone to take part in nonviolent civil resistance tactics, where we will take action together, and be adaptable and agile to the response.”

Britain has committed to reaching a net zero goal for carbon emissions by 2050, but its plans have come under pressure following the Ukraine crisis.

Environmental groups expressed disappointment with the government’s long awaited energy strategy on Thursday which set out plans to expand nuclear and offshore wind power.

They also said finance minister Rishi Sunak’s message to the financial regulators that “UK sources of oil and gas have a critical role” in reducing country’s reliance on foreign fossil fuels, threatened the net zero pledge.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Kate Holton)

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