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Extinction Rebellion stages 5-day climate protest in 5 British cities

Extinction Rebellion climate activists hold a protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Britain July 15, 2019
Extinction Rebellion climate activists hold a protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Britain July 15, 2019 Copyright REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Copyright REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
By Lauren Chadwick
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An environmental group brought boats to disrupt traffic in five British cities.


An environmental activism movement began a staged protest in five British cities on Monday.

The movement — Extinction Rebellion — will protest for the entire week in Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds and London with the goal of getting the UK government to take more action on climate change.

The movement would like to see more "meaningful measures" from the government on reducing carbon emissions to net zero, protecting biodiversity, and criminalising actions that harm the environment.

This week, in each of the five cities, a large boat will be used to block streets or bridges. The boats are meant to symbolise the inevitability of rising sea levels.

Each boat bears the slogan "ACT NOW" along with the name of a prominent climate activist — some of whom were murdered or targeted for their activism.

There's also a separate climate theme for each protest including "rising sea levels" in Bristol and "solidarity with climate refugees" in Glasgow.

In London, protesters sat outside the Royal Courts of Justice with a blue boat where the theme was "climate justice" in solidarity with climate activists around the world.

Public transportation was diverted in Bristol and the bridge closed due to protesters on Monday. The South Wales Police warned of delays in the city centre of Cardiff.

The boat and sit-in protesters blocked Victoria bridge in Leeds.

In Glasgow, a 25-foot purple boat was placed in the city centre causing partial closures of Glasgow's historic Trongate.

This "summer uprising" follows protests in Paris earlier this month that were broken up by a heavy-handed police response.

The French government drew criticism after video emerged of police using riot shields and pepper spray to move protesters who had staged a sit-in.

The movement, which practices "non-violent civil disobedience", started in London in 2018.

Protests that took place in April in London resulted in over 1,000 arrests. Nearly all of those arrested will have to appear before magistrates over the coming weeks, the group said on their website.

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