MASS climate protests and disruptions have been taking place in London over the past 10 days, with activists from the Abergavenny and Monmouthshire Extinction Rebellion (XR) branch in the thick of the action.

The branch’s members have joined up with thousands of XR members from across the UK for the Autumn Uprising – a fortnight of protests targeting the government, finance, and oil sectors over what XR calls the “environmental crisis” of climate change.

XR activists have performed so-called “die-ins” in public spaces as well as “swarmings” – blocking busy roads to disrupt traffic.

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On Monday, the Metropolitan Police demanded the cessation of XR protests in the capital, citing “ongoing serious disruption to the community”. The force said any protesters who failed to comply were liable for arrest and prosecution.


The Monmouthshire branch said one of its members had been arrested on Monday for blocking the entrance to the ‘walkie talkie’ skyscraper in Fenchurch Street, and was later released after being charged.

Ciara Bomford, a mother from Abergavenny, is one of the local activists to take part in the protests.

“I was there for my children because they asked me what I was doing about the climate crisis,” she said. “I couldn’t look them in the eye unless I was doing everything I could.

“Being part of the Extinction Rebellion protests feels like it would make a difference.”

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Ahead of the Fenchurch Street protest, another Monmouthshire activist, who gave his name as Ryan, said the branch members’ “drive and enthusiasm” was “inspirational”.

He was “incredibly impressed so far in terms of the actions, the commitment and solidarity shown by the people involved”, he added.

At the ‘walkie talkie’, the branch members supported a group of activists dressed as canaries, who glued themselves to the main entrance of the building while others displayed banners and blocked the road in both directions.

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Some drivers, the branch said, had been supportive, with one saying: “Something needs to be done, something needs to be said.”

But other drivers were less enthused. One driver told the protesters “it’s the business leaders and politicians you should be after, not us”, and others reportedly used stronger language to voice their dissatisfaction.

The police arrived and arrested a number of activists, the branch said, including one of the Monmouthshire members.

The force said more than 1,400 people had been arrested in connection with the XR Autumn Uprising disruptions.

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“A significant policing operation continues and we will take robust action against anyone engaged in unlawful protests at locations targeted by Extinction Rebellion,” The Met’s deputy assistant commissioner, Laurence Taylor, said. “However, I want to be absolutely clear. This does not mean people are banned from protesting in London. The condition applies specifically to the Extinction Rebellion Autumn Uprising.

“If Extinction Rebellion, or any other group, come to us with a proposal for lawful protests then of course we will discuss that with them.”

On Tuesday some XR activists from various groups continued to protest in defiance of the police ban.