Climate activists close a central London bridge in support of nine campaigners jailed this week.
By Joseph Lee
Police have arrested 30 climate activists after a central London bridge was closed by a sit-down protest.
The Lambeth Bridge demonstration was held in support of nine Insulate Britain campaigners who were jailed this week for defying an injunction on road blockades.
Up to 250 people took part in the sit-in, shutting the bridge for hours.
Police made the arrests after imposing Public Order Act conditions on the protest.
The Metropolitan Police said the bridge was reopened at about 19:00 GMT, with the final protesters removed from Vauxhall Cross a few minutes later.
Earlier, uniformed officers stood on Lambeth Bridge while traffic was diverted, with police saying it was “for the safety of all”.
Meanwhile, demonstrators made speeches, sang songs, ate lunch and chanted slogans.
Campaigners told the crowd that the nine jailed Insulate Britain campaigners were “political prisoners” who will not be the last to be locked up for their convictions about climate change.
The nine protesters were given sentences of three to four months for breaching an injunction, aimed at preventing the blockades which have brought several roads to a standstill and sparked anger among motorists.
Activists on the bridge said they would not be deterred by the threat of prison.
Gabriella Ditton, 27, an animator from Norwich, told the PA news agency she has already been arrested six times with Insulate Britain.
“I expect to go to prison at some point for at least six months because I am not going to be apologetic about this,” she said.
She said “civil resistance” was necessary to create the political will to solve the climate crisis.
Zoe Cohen, 51, who travelled from Warrington, Cheshire, to protest, said “ordinary people should not have to do this and risk prison”.
She said the disruption caused by the protests was “microscopic” compared to the death and suffering caused by climate change.
— Read on www.bbc.com/news/uk-59361145