Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Climate change protesters halt London street blockade

Climate change protesters halt London street blockade

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Extinction Rebellion climate change activists perform a mass ‘die in’ under the blue whale in the foyer of the Natural History Museum in London on Monday, on the eighth day of the environmental group’s protest calling for political change to combat climate change. TOLGA AKMEN/AFP

Climate change protesters halt London street blockade

Some of London’s busiest streets reopened on Monday for the first time in a week as climate change protesters regrouped and plotted a new course after police made more than 1,000 arrests.

The so-called Extinction Rebellion took over the heart of the UK capital in a bid to focus global attention on rising temperatures and sea levels caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

The grassroots group was established last year in Britain by academics and has used social media to become one of the fastest-growing environmental movements worldwide.

But it has abandoned four of five main protests sites in response to a more forceful police response and an outcry from local businesses that claimed a heavy loss in sales.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also warned on Sunday that protests were starting to overstretch the police and limiting their ability to respond to daily crime.

“It simply isn’t right to put Londoners’ safety at risk like this,” Khan said.


Extinction Rebellion organisers retreated by Monday to Marble Arch – a monument on the edge of Hyde Park that allows limited protests to continue without disrupting traffic.

The site has been sanctioned by the police.

About 100 activists also lay down under the gigantic skeleton of a blue whale hanging from the ceiling of the main hall of London’s Natural History Museum for a self-described “die-in”.

Extinction Rebellion tweeted that the action was meant to deliver a warning about an oncoming “sixth mass


The police said they had made 1,065 arrests and charged 53 people since the first protests took over a bridge and renowned London intersections such as Piccadilly and Oxford Circus.

“We remain in frequent contact with the organisers to ensure that the serious disruption to Londoners is brought to a close as soon as possible and that only lawful and peaceful protests continue,” a police statement said.

The London campaign has no formal leaders and its future plan remain unclear.

Some organisers want to engage in formal talks with the London mayor and the UK government.

The group’s list of demands includes a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to a net level of zero by 2025 and a halt to biodiversity loss.

It also wants the UK government to “create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice”.

But it said on Monday that strategic issues were still under discussion – and that it may yet decide to resume the street blockades.

“A proposal has been circulated for entering a ‘negotiations’ phase,” a statement said.

“Despite being presented otherwise in the media, this idea remains only a proposal,” it added.

“Where we go with Phase Two is up to us.”


  • Over 100 Chinese nationals to be deported for online scam

    The Ministry of Interior is planning to deport 128 Chinese nationals after they were arrested in Preah Sihanouk province on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in an online money extortion scam. Y Sokhy, the head of the Department of Counter-terrorism and Transnational Crime, told The Post

  • LPG gas explosion injures 13 people, including foreigners, in Siem Reap

    An explosion on Wednesday at a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) car and tuk-tuk refuelling station in Siem Reap city has left 13 people, including an American and a Briton, suffering burns. The seven most severely burned, including a provincial police officer, were sent to a Thai

  • The French mother navigating the capital in her own personal tuk-tuk

    French woman Cecile Dahome gracefully manoeuvres her tuk-tuk through the manic streets of Phnom Penh with the precision of a Japanese katana before a herd of motorcyclists, attempting to perform illegal U-turns, cuts her off. The riders, like baby ducklings following their mother’s tracks,

  • More than 800 people test positive for HIV in 2018

    The National Aids Authority (NAA) said more than 800 people tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) last year, joining over 76,000 others aged between 15 and 49 in the Kingdom already infected with the virus. The spread of HIV/AIDS in the Kingdom is showing few signs of