I went about the various XR sites for a couple of hours and these are some of the pictures I took. It seemed that the police were by this time moving in and slowly blockading sites themselves and ensuring demonstrators were not able to return. By the time I reached Lambeth bridge the police were almost in total control and later tweets confirm the police had indeed gained control of the bridge. It was said the police were outnumbered – but it wasn’t letting them see the defeat they suffered last April when the first major XR events took place in London.
A nice picture of a pair of XR guys being interviewed by the television crews in The Mall.
On personal reflection I think it was also the locations that counted. Those sites in Central London (Oxford Street/Marble Arch) were also populated by both shoppers and tourists so it was probably a more difficult job. The sites around Westminster of course have many tourists but this was perhaps the advantage – the shopping element of people was not there, thus the police thus had more confidence in tackling the protesters.
Woman lecturing on the environmental crisis at a makeshift stage in The Mall.
Its not say that none of it was interesting or that people didn’t have a genuine passion about the environment. There were of course loads of dedicated people present who felt this particular action was the only means of getting Governments to see sense and agreeing to major changes in order to prevent ecological catastrophe. And the fact people could get together and demonstrate was admirable. It actually takes a lot of work and effort and of course sheer determination.
The best demonstrations are perhaps in Trafalgar Square. There was certainly a lot of activism with people being glued to vehicles, chained and glued to the road, chained underneath vehicles, and so on. There was a lot of police activity in this area with the Territorial Support Group being most evident.
Police by a van with an activist on the top of it.
Charles I: ‘Change, in 2019? Blimey! They’ve been asking for change ever since they cut my bloody head off in 1649!’
A great banner wrapped round the Bakerloo entrance at Trafalgar Square. ‘Your house is on fire.’
One of the very few Black XR activists I found. I did a couple of portraits of this guy. I dont think I properly did the situation justice though.
A little further away from the square there were many people chained, piped, glued, to vehicles the road etc. And lots of police of course.
But first this lovely big dog! Great Dane probably. All around the dog were activist chained, locked into steel pipes and the rest of it. And that is why the Met Police were filming everyone – because we’re all criminals in their eyes! (Remember a lot of officers too will have had their body mounted video cameras switched on.)
Activists chained into steel pipes by the top of Northumberland Avenue. Many police, various divisions but also quite a few TSG present.
A nice poignant picture. An activist on the road by the top of Whitehall, with a large placard stating his intents, and his willingness to be arrested etc.
Whitehall had a large police presence too, no doubt because of the nature of the various Government offices along here.
Many officers outside the Cabinet Office. A number of protesters arrested too, one can just be seen on the ground being talked to by two officers.
Many activist and tents around the Women’s memorial in Whitehall.
The police were not letting any crowds near the entrances to Downing Street or anywhere along the road there for that matter, clearly because of security and the rest of it. So the main body of activists was centered around the Women’s memorial. It seemed to me the police were planning on moving in among the activists here and clearing the location. They had impounded a gazebo and were not letting people near it.
Singers in Whitehall. There was a lot happening here and loads of police as I said it seems the police were planning to move in and shift everybody. Thus people were singing.
In Parliament Square itself was this solo eco-protester. Quite a good attire made up form all sorts of plastics!
The Red Brigade in Millbank near the Houses of Parliament.
There was a disabled man in Millbank who refused to move. The police demanded he be moved but he insisted he could not be moved and he explained to the police he understood the consequences of his not wanting to move when ordered by the police. He did in fact have a letter to show his medical conditions in case the police had thought of forcibly moving him. The police had to accommodate him whilst they moved everyone else.
He was writing on his mobile (which clearly had a voice app that was speaking to the officers concerned) however being deaf I read the words coming up which said ‘Its nothing personal mate. I understand its a tough job but I’m not moving. I understand the consequences clearly.’
He stood his ground strongly and clearly the officers were a bit flumoxed! But they gave in and accommodated him at least.
Next is a couple of tweets I thought were of interest… there’s soooo many thousands of tweets and these two tweets don’t really reflect the full situation, but they are of interest.
Ruby Wax joins XR!
Jenny Jones came to see the XR demonstrations herself and also to talk to the police about their tactics.
Incidentally Jenny Jones later complained about the rough actions of one officer towards her. See her Tweet.
Finally this next image I thought was of great interest. Its clearly an advice sheet for the police and was dropped. What is interesting is not the actual instructions (everyone knows this sort of stuff by now!) More importantly its the fact officers have been instructed to make up a police station when challenged by people arrested as to where they are being taken.
Interesting advice sheet dropped by a police officer! Source: Twitter (Note: This tweet was deleted. An archived picture from that was saved and is used here.)