Hundreds of protesters have been arrested. Two environmental activists climbed onto the roof of a train in London's Canary Wharf financial district as part of a third day of action to force the UK to take more radical action to prevent climate change.
The Rebellion Against Extinction group has stepped up its protests in recent weeks, blocking Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge, smashing a door in the Shell building and surprising politicians with a half-naked protest in parliament.
Reuters Newsagency reports that nearly 300 people have been arrested this week after activists blocked some of the capital's most iconic landmarks, many by camping in tents on the streets.
The group advocates for non-violent civil disobedience to force governments to cut carbon emissions and prevent what it says is a global climate crisis that will bring famine, floods, wildfires and social collapse.
A man dressed in a dark suit and a woman dressed in a black jacket stood on the roof of a train at the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station in Canary Wharf, holding a banner reading: "Climate Emergency." Act now. "
Some passengers yelled at the couple to get off as police headed to the scene. Another activist stuck to one of the trains.
Reuters reports Transport for London said there were minor delays at a DLR services branch "due to an incident with a customer" in Canary Wharf. British transport police said they had arrested a man on suspicion of obstructing the railway.
Rebellion Against Extinction said such direct action was important to effect change.
“As with a labor strike, the economic disruption is key to forcing the government to come to the table and negotiate our demands,” they said on their website.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan had urged protesters to avoid attacking the city's public transport system.
“Getting more people to use public transportation, as well as walking and cycling, is absolutely crucial if we are to tackle this climate emergency,” said Mr. Khan.
The protests have cost businesses more than $ 22 million in London's West End, famous for its theaters and shops, with some seeing a 25 percent drop in sales and visits.
"This added pressure is very damaging to London's economy and reputation," said Jace Tyrrell, CEO of the New West End Company, which represents businesses in the area.
Police said they expected the demonstrations to continue in the coming weeks and promised to take action if necessary.
"We need to ensure that we are striking the right balance between allowing the right to peaceful protest, while ensuring that disruption to communities is kept to a minimum," said Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove.
The group is demanding that the government declare a climate and ecological emergency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and create a citizen assembly of members of the public to lead decisions to address climate change.
In 2017, the UK's total greenhouse gas emissions were 43% lower than in 1990 and 2.6% lower than in 2016, according to government statistics.