London climate activists set sights on Heathrow

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In a Twitter post, the Metropolitan Police said the "protesters are using tactics of lying on the ground when approached" and this makes "at least four officers to remove one person to ensure their safety". Overall, the police reported more than 420 arrests over traffic disruptions on London's key highways during rush hours, as well as property damage.

Extinction Rebellion has ratcheted up its protests in recent weeks, blocking major sites around London like Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge and smashing a door at the Shell building.

Heathrow Airport said that they were working with police to avoid such disturbance.

On Thursday night the Metropolitan police said they had arrested more than 500 people so far and had cancelled leave for some officers over Easter.

Extinction Rebellion Ireland say that Ireland is at the bottom of an European Union table on decarbonisation and is on track to miss legal targets to reduce our carbon emissions and to adopt renewable energy by 2020.

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The area was finally cleared shortly after 5pm when the police unglued the final protestor.

"We expect our officers to engage with protesters but clearly their actions fall short of the tone of the policing operation at a time when people are frustrated at the actions of the protesters".

Activists have been occupying four landmark sites in central London since Monday in efforts to highlight the escalating climate crisis and demand urgent government action. The group Extinction Rebellion is calling for a week of civil disobedience against what it says is the failure to tackle the causes of climate change. The police turned up because they have been asked to turn up.

After one of the protest organisers said that they would facilitate the police in a peaceful way, Thompson remarked "I would like to say though to the police, Nanny McPhee is up here and I have got my stick with me".

Britain's climate targets: Britain has lowered net emissions by 42% percent since 1990 and is planning to slash emissions by 80% by 2050.