LONDON/BERLIN – Extinction Rebellion has carried out protests in dozens of cities around the world calling for action over the climate crisis.
In London, at least 135 people were arrested in connection with anti-climate change demonstrations led by the group on Monday.
There were rallies slated in 60 cities around the world under the slogan: “To governments of the world, we declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency. You did not do enough. To everybody else, rebel.”
Activists in the United Kingdom’s capital were set to block traffic on several major roads, including Trafalgar Square, right at the heart of the city.
Protesters in London marched from Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square.
Organizers were expecting crowds five times the size of previous demonstrations in April, when more than 1,100 people were detained.
In Berlin more than a thousand young people protested in front of the German government headquarters.
Carola Rackete, a ship captain who works for the German sea rescue organization Sea-Watch, said the government is “not doing anything” and called for action, adding that there is no time to lose.
The protests in the German capital started on Saturday when hundreds of young people began to gather.
There was a crowd of 1,500 by Sunday with the intention of staying there for a week, according to police sources.
The actions of the group in Berlin began early on Monday morning, with an occupation of the area around Victory Column, in the heart of the German capital, with traffic brought to a standstill.
Helge Braun, Minister for Special Affairs, said on ZDF public television that he was understanding of the protests but warned that “attacks” that “endanger traffic” in the capital would not be tolerated.
The German section of the group, a movement that started in London, has called for the government to declare a climate emergency and adopt drastic measures for a substantial reduction of CO2 emissions by 2025.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly expressed her admiration for Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, the teenager whose Fridays For Future movement has inspired weekly worldwide school strikes involving millions of youngsters.
On 20 September, Merkel announced funding of 54 billion euros for the country to meet emission reduction targets set for 2030, after having admitted that they will not be achieved in 2020.