Two people climb Marble Arch amid protests against fossil fuels
By Rebecca Speare-Cole and Isobel Frodsham, PA
Two people have scaled a London landmark to hang a banner as protests against fossil fuels continued for a seventh day.
A man and a woman climbed up two pillars on Marble Arch in central London to hoist a green banner, which was about 10 metres wide and read “End fossil fuels now”, shortly before 6pm on Saturday.
The action was part of demonstrations carried out by campaign group Extinction Rebellion. It came after protesters had gathered in Hyde Park earlier in the day and paraded through the capital’s streets.
The protesters waved flags, set off orange flares and danced in the street while music played on speakers. Soon afterwards they settled in the road next to Marble Arch.
A group of eight activists later locked themselves on to a car in the road, while two glued themselves to the roof.
The woman who scaled the arch spoke to police surrounding her on the ground below. She said: “Are you going to arrest me? There’s been no criminal damage.
“I think you should let me go.”
Dozens of officers were at the scene.
Shortly after 6.30pm, the Metropolitan Police said the force had imposed a Section 14(1) public order on the group to clear the road by 6pm.
It covers from Marble Arch gyratory, encompassing Park Lane, Oxford Street, Tyburn Way, Edgware Road, Bayswater Road and Cumberland Gate.
Several people were detained by officers moments later.
Earlier on Saturday, six people were arrested after activists climbed on to a Shell oil tanker in Bayswater Road, yards away from Marble Arch.
Images from the scene show people gathered around the tanker, some holding Extinction Rebellion flags, while one man had a sign which read: “End fossil fuels now.”
Olympic gold medal-winning canoeist Etienne Stott and fellow British Olympian Laura Baldwin were among the demonstrators, Extinction Rebellion said.
A spokesperson for Shell said the company agrees that society “needs to take urgent action” on climate change. “Shell has a clear target to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050, in step with society,” they added.
The Met said six people were arrested for vehicle interference, and the road had reopened by 12pm.
Meanwhile, Warwickshire Police said nine people have been charged after a separate climate activist group held a demonstration at an oil terminal in Kingsbury.
Just Stop Oil activists protested in the early hours of Friday at the Kingsbury terminal near Tamworth, Staffordshire, as well as the Navigator Oil terminal in Thurrock and Grays oil terminal, both in Essex, as part of their campaign to demand the Government stops new oil and gas projects.
Diana Martin, 76, of Halton, Lancashire, Christian Murray-Leslie, 77, of Melbourne, Derbyshire, Daniel Shaw, 36, of Northampton, Sandra Elsworth, of Morecambe, Amy Pritchard, 37, of London, Simon Milner-Edwards, 65, of Manchester, Ben Taylor, 27, of no fixed address, David Nixon, 35, of Barnsley, and Gwen Harrison, 44, of Kendal, have all been charged with obstructing or disrupting a person engaged in lawful activity, Warwickshire Police said.
They were due to appear at Coventry Magistrates’ Court on Saturday. Three other people remain in custody.
Essex Police said on Saturday they had charged 23 people in connection with trespassing in Thurrock.