By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) - More than 450 people have been arrested in London since an environmentalist protest has started on Monday, British police said Thursday.
“As of 3.30 p.m. on Thursday, more than 460 people have been arrested -- all for section 14 Public Order Act breaches and obstruction of the highway,” London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
The protesters demand urgent action from the government to tackle climate change and ecological crisis.
They have blocked some main and busy roads in London, which includes Waterloo Bridge and Oxford Street.
The protesters -- gathered by an environmentalist group called the Extinction Rebellion -- demand the government to acknowledge there is an environment crisis, enact legally binding policies to reduce carbon emission by 2025 and form citizens’ assembly to “oversee the changes” needed to achieve this goal.
The group has vowed to increase the tone of their protest and they would be on the streets “as long as it takes.”
Three protesters who disrupted a light railway system when they glued themselves to trains on Wednesday have been charged with public disorder offenses and appeared in court on Thursday. The court refused to release them on bail.
The Extinction Rebellion said they will disrupt the Heathrow Airport on Friday if their demands are not met.
Heathrow Airport, for its part, said that they were working with police to avoid such disturbance.
London police issued a public order condition as of Monday evening, which means that protesters should leave the scene when they are asked to.
"The same condition has been implemented to those in the Oxford Circus area," police said.
The condition has since been “extended for a further three days.”
“In order to impose this condition, the Met required evidence that serious disruption was being caused to communities in London,” police said.
Friday is the start of a four-day-long Easter break and the Extinction Rebellion said on Twitter thousands of more people would come and join them in London.
The protesters do not resist to arrests and most of them are released in a few hours after giving statements at police stations.