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Paris (AFP)- Several hundred activists from the activist group Extinction Rebellion blocked major roads in central Paris and London on Saturday, disrupting traffic in protest at world leaders’ “inaction” on climate change.
About 300 meters (980ft) of a main thoroughfare in central Paris was taken over by activists over the Easter weekend, some of them moving in bales of hay and containers filled with cement to block the circulation.
Extinction Rebellion tweeted that ‘thousands’ of protesters were ‘occupying’ London’s Marble Arch roundabout in a sit-in near Hyde Park demanding an end to the fossil fuel economy.
Protesters also stuck to a limo in central London.
The Metropolitan Police said in a tweet that the protest caused “significant traffic disruption” and protesters “locked themselves into a stationary vehicle in the middle of the road… assumed to be theirs” .
Activists from the group had stuck to a tanker truck earlier on Saturday, blocking the vehicle on a road near Hyde Park.
Three activists, including 2012 Olympic canoe slalom champion Etienne Stott, rode British energy giant Shell’s tanker, unfurling a banner saying “End Fossil Dirt”, Extinction Rebellion said.
“I am aware that my actions will anger many people and I am prepared to be held accountable,” Stott said.
“But our government should also be held accountable for its decisions that destroy our planet’s ability to sustain human civilization.”
Six people were arrested, the Metropolitan Police said.
In Paris, activists unfurled a large red banner that read: “This world is dying. Let’s build the next one.” The protest is due to continue until Monday.
“Rebellion is our duty,” had been daubed in graffiti on a nearby wall.
“It’s the only way to get everyone talking a bit about climate change,” Antoine, a young activist who declined to give his last name, told AFP.
A line of French riot police stood in front of the protesters, but officers did not intervene.
Anger at official policies
Extinction Rebellion has led a series of protests across Britain over the past week, including closing four of London’s busiest bridges on Friday.
A scientist from the group, Emma Smart, was released on Saturday after going on a hunger strike following her arrest earlier in the week during a protest targeting Britain’s Department of Energy, Extinction Rebellion said.
After several oil depots were targeted by campaign group Just Stop Oil in recent days, numerous companies, including ExxonMobil, have successfully won injunctions to stop such actions, the London government said.
The British government presented a new energy security strategy last week after the war in Ukraine and soaring inflation, with greater emphasis on nuclear and renewables, but also on oil from the sea. North.
The strategy has angered many campaigners who believe the government is not doing enough to move away from fossil fuels.
Many French environmentalists were discouraged after last weekend’s first round of presidential elections in which Greens candidate Yannick Jadot and far-left environmentalist Jean-Luc Melenchon were eliminated.
A second round will take place next Sunday between centrist President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
© 2022 AFP