Waterloo Bridge and Oxford Circus remain closed as climate protesters reclaim the streets.
You won’t get a wifi signal on the tube today. The service has been switched off after protesters threatened direct action on transport networks.
— Tom Edwards (@BBCTomEdwards) April 17, 2019
And they’ve already struck. At Canary Wharf, three Extinction Rebellion protesters have glued themselves to a DLR train, while others have climbed on the roof. Needless to say, the unit is immobile, but trains can still get through on parallel lines. Smart move. The protest gets our attention without majorly disrupting public transport.
The protesters are demanding political action on climate change, diversity loss and other related causes. Their methods are disruptive, but non-violent. Even so, some 300 arrests have been made so far, over three days of action.
Protest on Waterloo Bridge
The spartan concrete span is turning into a garden bridge as occupying protesters set out planters and baskets — showing that Garden Bridge how it’s done. Motor traffic cannot cross, but the route remains open to cyclists and pedestrians.
The mood in the camp this morning was rather charming, with lively music, spring sunshine and smiles all round. Many of those present had slept on the bridge over night, but remained cheery as a thousand passing Londoners raised their smartphones to record the spectacle.
A boat in Oxford Circus
Oxford Circus also remains closed. The camp there is centred on a small pink boat whose sound system was pumping out easy-listening cover versions of Echo and the Bunnymen as we passed through.
Parts of Oxford Street and most of Regent Street are blocked off. We found ourselves disorientated walking along such a familiar street in the near-total absence of people or traffic. The doorman of Cafe Royal said he’d never seen anything like it.
Other protests are taking place at Marble Arch, Piccadilly Circus and Parliament Square as the movement prepares to take things to the next level. Further action on the tube network is expected.
Last Updated 17 April 2019