At least 90 people have been arrested in climate change protests causing disruption across England.
Extinction Rebellion organized nationwide action in London and Manchester to urge the government to prepare for a “climate crisis”.
Activists were arrested after sitting in the middle of the road next to Parliament Square to stop traffic.
In Manchester, protesters have been urged to ‘reconsider their actions’ following an increase in Covid-19 cases.
Extinction Rebellion has announced plans to ‘peacefully disrupt the British Parliament in London’ with 10 days of protests until MPs back the Climate and Environmental Emergency Bill.
Other events planned in the capital include a ‘carnival of corruption’, which is to take place outside the Treasury, and a ‘walk of shame’ near the Bank of England.
Protester Karen Wildin, a 56-year-old guardian from Leicester, told the PA news agency: ‘I am here today because I have serious concerns about the future of the planet – we have to put that above all else.
“It doesn’t matter Covid, let alone A levels, this is the biggest crisis we are facing and we need to get the message out as loud as possible.
“Not much has been done on this issue, everyone needs to hear the message. “
Sarah Lunnon, member of Extinction Rebellion, said: “Failure to act on this issue will have a catastrophic impact on our future and on generations to come.
“We want to take the place of Parliament to make our voices heard. Of course we are in the middle of a pandemic, but we are balancing the risk, this is the biggest problem we face. ”
Metropolitan Police said Tuesday’s rally could only take place on the main roads in the Gardens of Parliament Square between 8 a.m. BST and 7 p.m. Boats, vehicles, trailers or other structures were banned from the procession.
The same rules apply for Wednesday demonstrations.
The Met said as of 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, a total of 90 people had been arrested on suspicion of breaches of public order.
Met Commander Jane Connors said: “The reason we have implemented these conditions is because we know these protests can cause serious disruption to local businesses, commuters and our communities and residents, which I do not believe. will not tolerate. ”
Last year, more than 1,700 arrests were made during the Extinction Rebellion’s 10-day autumn uprising.
In Manchester, a march is planned in the city and Oxford Street has been closed as part of five days of action.
Deputy head of city council Nigel Murphy said planned protests “cannot adhere” to social distancing rules.
The city has increased restrictions due to a recent increase in Covid-19 cases.
Mr. Murphy said that if the council respects “the right to demonstrate peacefully” it should “not be at the expense of the local population”.
He said: “We are in the midst of a global public health crisis and we would ask protesters to seriously reconsider their actions at this time.
“Manchester is currently under increased restrictions to limit the spread of the virus as the number of cases is on the rise. Gatherings of more than six should only take place if everyone is exclusively from two households or supports bubbles. ”
He said the city has one of the UK’s ‘most ambitious carbon targets’ and ‘strives to become carbon-zero by 2038’.
A Titanic-themed protest also took place in Southend-on-Sea, where protesters said much of Essex would be underwater by 2050.