Extinction Rebellion: Arrests at Sydney and Amsterdam protests

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media captionDozens of people have been arrested around the world

Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion activists have been arrested as protests take place across the globe.

Thirty people were charged with committing offences in Sydney after hundreds blocked a road, while more than 100 were arrested in Amsterdam.

Protests have taken place in countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Austria, France and New Zealand.

Protests by climate change activists are expected in some 60 cities over the next two weeks.

The group is also causing disruption in London, where more than 270 people were arrested on Monday.

Extinction Rebellion wants governments to take immediate and drastic action to address climate change.

"We have tried petitions, lobbying and marches, and now time is running out," Australian activist Jane Morton told the AFP news agency.

"We have no choice but to rebel until our government declares a climate and ecological emergency and takes the action that is required to save us."

image copyrightAFP
image captionMore than 100 people were arrested in Amsterdam

Australia's government has been criticised for its lack of action in tackling climate change but it insists that it is doing its part to reduce global carbon emissions.

The country's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said last week that names and photos of Extinction Rebellion protesters should be widely distributed to "shame" them.

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image captionArrests were made in New York City
image copyrightReuters
image captionProtesters in New York City made a "funeral march" and poured fake blood over the Wall Street bull bronze statue

What's been happening and where?

  • In Sydney, protesters staged a sit-in on a main road. Hundreds were pulled away from the scene and 30 of them were charged. Australians have also been protesting in Melbourne and Brisbane
  • There were a handful of arrests in New Zealand, where activists surrounded the government building in Wellington that houses the ministry granting oil and gas drilling permits
  • More than 100 were arrested in Amsterdam after they erected a tent camp on the main road outside the Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum
  • Arrests were made in New York after protesters poured fake blood over the Wall Street charging bull statue as part of a staged "die-in"
  • Another "die-in" took place in the Indian city of Mumbai with about 250 activists taking part
  • Activists blocked traffic in Berlin, where authorities have said they will refrain from making arrests for the time being
  • In Paris, 1,000 activists backed by the yellow-vest anti-government movement have reportedly occupied a shopping centre
  • In Vienna, activists blocked a crossroads in the central Museumsquartier district
image copyrightReuters
image captionThere was a heavy police presence in London, with widespread protests expected
image copyrightAFP
image captionExtinction Rebellion "Guardian Angels" were face to face with police in Paris

In London, organisers have vowed to shut down key sites in the city including the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square.

Similar protests in the UK earlier this year brought major disruption to London and resulted in more than 1,100 arrests.

Protests are expected to spread across dozens of cities, including Delhi and New York, in the days and weeks ahead as activists call for urgent environmental action.

What is Extinction Rebellion?

Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a "climate and ecological emergency" and take immediate action to address climate change.

It describes itself as an international "non-violent civil disobedience activist movement".

Extinction Rebellion was launched in the UK in 2018 and says it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.

The group uses an hourglass inside a circle as its logo to represent time running out for many species.

What are its aims?

In the UK, Extinction Rebellion has three main demands:

  • The government must declare a climate "emergency"
  • The UK must legally commit to reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2025
  • A citizens' assembly must be formed to "oversee the changes"

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