London is bracing for a second day of traffic disruptions as Extinction Rebellion’s planned two weeks of global climate change protests continue.
Protesters brought chaos for commuters on Monday, closing down several streets around Westminster, as part of coordinated actions taking place around the world.
More road closures are expected today as a predicted 30,000 protesters descend on the capital.
Parliament Street, Great Smith Street, and Westminster and Lambeth bridges are expected to be heavily affected.
The Met Police said it had arrested 280 demonstrators by 9.30pm on Monday night, more than double the 122 arrests made on the first day of similar protests last April.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appealed to the protesters to stop blocking London’s streets.
Labelling Extinction Rebellion activists as “uncooperative crusties”, the PM called on them to abandon their “hemp-smelling bivouacs” to allow the capital to function smoothly again.
Mr Johnson was speaking at the launch in London of the third volume of Margaret Thatcher’s biography by the former editor of The Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore.
He said the former prime minister had taken the issue of greenhouse gases seriously long before 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg was born.
“The best thing possible for the education of the denizens of the heaving hemp-smelling bivouacs that now litter Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park would be for them to stop blocking the traffic and buy a copy of Charles’s magnificent book so that they can learn about a true feminist, green and revolutionary who changed the world for the better,” Mr Johnson said.
He added: “I hope that when we go out from this place tonight and we are waylaid by importunate nose-ringed climate change protesters, we remind them that she (Mrs Thatcher) was also right about greenhouse gases.”
Mr Johnson said he had been advised by his security staff not to attend last night’s book launch “because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters of all kinds littering the road”.