CLimate

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PA

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Extinction Rebellion activists marched from Marble Arch to Parliament Square

Extinction Rebellion activists have marched on Parliament to invite MPs to discuss climate change policies.

More than 1,000 people have been arrested since the protests began in central London a week ago.

Police said a “robust” plan was in place and protesters must leave Parliament Square by midnight.

A total of 71 people have so far been charged in connection with the protest. Makeshift camps at Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge have now been cleared.

Protesters left Marble Arch, which had been occupied since 15 April, carrying flags and banners and marching to drums shortly after 10:00 BST.

Demonstrators have previously suggested temporarily ending disruptive tactics to focus on political negotiations, as the campaign entered a second week.

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Media captionTeen activist Greta Thunberg invited party leaders to a meeting in the House of Commons.

Jay Monk, 49, who is taking part in the march, said it was a signal of a “renewed push” to have politicians answer the group’s demands.

Campaigners have three core demands: for the government to “tell the truth about climate change”; to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025; and to create a citizens’ assembly to oversee progress.

The Met Police said anyone failing to comply with its condition to leave Parliament Square by 23:59 would be “committing an offence and will be liable to arrest”.

The oldest person to be charged over the protest is 74 years old, while the youngest is 19.

The vast majority of those charged will appear in court between 14 May and 31 May, police said.

Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg met with party leaders at the House of Commons, including Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn and Sir Vince Cable of the Liberal Democrats, but not Prime Minister Theresa May, who was chairing a cabinet meeting.

A seat was left empty for Mrs May at the meeting, which was also attended by Green MP Caroline Lucas and the Westminster leaders of the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru – Ian Blackford and Liz Saville Roberts.

The 16-year-old Nobel Peace Prize nominee told the politicians, who are returning to Parliament after a week-long recess: “We just want people to listen to the science”

She is expected to give a speech at a meeting in Portcullis House at 14:00 BST.

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Reuters

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“A robust policing plan will be in place” for the demonstration at Parliament Square, the Met Police said

Protester Steve Jones, 53, suggested some of the disruption might be relaxed if the group was granted “meaningful discussions” with the government.

On Monday, at least 100 protesters laid down under the blue whale skeleton at the Natural History Museum in a coordinated “die in”.

Most of the demonstrators finished their lie-down protest after about half an hour.

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