London's Climate Change Protesters Halt Street Blockade

The so-called Extinction Rebellion took over the heart of the UK capital in a bid to focus global attention on rising temperatures and sea levels caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

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London's Climate Change Protesters Halt Street Blockade

The London campaign has no formal leaders and its immediate plan of action remains unclean.


London: 

Some of London's busiest streets re-opened Monday for the first time in a week as climate change protesters regrouped and plotted a new course after police made over 1,000 arrests.

The so-called Extinction Rebellion took over the heart of the UK capital in a bid to focus global attention on rising temperatures and sea levels caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

The grassroots group was established last year in Britain by academics and has used social media to become one of the fastest-growing environmental movements in the world.

But it abandoned four of the five main protests sites over the weekend in response to a more forceful police approach and an outcry from local businesses that claimed a heavy loss in sales.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also warned Sunday that protests were starting to overstretch the police and limiting their ability to respond to daily crime.

"It simply isn't right to put Londoners' safety at risk like this," Khan said.

Phase Two

Extinction Rebellion organisers retreated by Monday to Marble Arch -- a monument on the edge of Hyde Park that allows limited protests to continue without disrupting traffic.

The site has been sanctioned by the police.

"After leaving four of five locations in good order, rebels will meet at Marble Arch on Monday to decide where they go next," the group said in a statement.

It added that its seven-day campaign has helped it raise nearly £300,000 ($390,000, 345,000 euros) and gain 30,000 new members.

The police said they had made 1,065 arrests and charged 53 people since the first protests took over a bridge and renowned London intersections such as Piccadilly and Oxford Circus.

"We remain in frequent contact with the organisers to ensure that the serious disruption to Londoners is brought to a close as soon as possible and that only lawful and peaceful protests continue," the police said in a statement.

The London campaign has no formal leaders and its immediate plan of action remains unclean.

Some of the organisers said Sunday they wanted formal talks with the London mayor and the UK government.

The group's list of demands includes a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to a net level of zero by 2025 and a halt to biodiversity loss.

The group has previously said that it wants the UK government to "create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens' Assembly on climate and ecological justice".

But it said Monday that its strategy was still under discussion -- and that it may yet decide to resume the street blockades.

"A proposal has been circulated for entering a 'negotiations' phase," it said in a statement.

"Despite being presented otherwise in the media, this idea remains only a proposal," it added.

"Where we go with Phase Two is up to us."



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