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Extinction Rebellion protesters warned to move on or face arrest in London after almost 600 detained

Extinction Rebellion protesters are being warned to move on. Credit: PA

Extinction Rebellion protesters have glued themselves to buildings after being warned they face arrest on the second day of their international action.

Climate change activists camped overnight to maintain their stronghold on parts of central London, telling police they were prepared to be taken into custody for failing to comply with orders to move their protest to a single site at Trafalgar Square.

Police handed out notices across Westminster on Tuesday morning, where campaigners kept an overnight vigil, in an attempt to reduce the disruption in the capital and concentrate the action on one area.

One activist glued to the Department of Transport. Credit: PA

After demonstrators brought chaos for commuters on Monday, police confirmed 319 were arrested - easily surpassing the 122 detentions made on the first day of similar protests in the capital in April.

The force said 261 people were arrested on Tuesday, bringing the total number detained to 580 across a 48 hour period.

Officers issued a Section 14 notice under the Public Order Act to protesters, telling them to move to the pedestrianised area of Trafalgar Square to continue their protest or be arrested. The force said this was to avoid "serious public disorder, serious damage to property and serious disruption to the life of the community".

Who is at the protests?

Protesters have gathered a key locations in central London to demand environmental change. Credit: PA

Around 200 protesters are thought to have camped in tents overnight on Horseferry Road and the surrounding area.

It came after Boris Johnson described the protesters as "uncooperative crusties", and called on them to abandon their "hemp-smelling bivouacs".

But many said they were prepared to stay in their makeshift camp.

Protesters set up camp on Horseferry Road and Marsham Street in Westminster. Credit: PA

Activist Mike Gumn, 33, from Bristol, camped overnight wearing a suit and a flat cap to show the protest "is for everyone".

Mr Gumn, an NHS manager who has two children aged two and three, said: "I have a job, I have taken annual leave to be here.

"I'd rather be with my family.

"I want to make a statement that (the activists) are all different sorts of people from all different walks of life, not just people you would call hippies."

Protesters have glued themselves to the ground at Millbank near to the junction with Great College Street. Credit: PA

On being arrested, he said: "We will decide as a group when we are going to move, and we are not going to let police tell us when.

"I would not like to get arrested, but if that happens when I am exercising my right to protest and deliver a good life for my children, then I will take it on the chin."

Protesters, dubbed the Red Rebels, outside the Cabinet Office on Whitehall. Credit: PA

One activist in his 20s added: "They (police) came round and told us that we should be moving on. I don't think we are going to move on.

"It's not a risk if you know you're going to be arrested. It's something I'll do if I need to."

An Extinction Rebellion lorry, parked outside the Home Office, became a focal point for some activists who glued themselves underneath the vehicle while several hundred protesters spent Tuesday sat on either side of the police blockade at the building.

A lorry blocks Marsham Street, outside the entrance to the Home Office. Credit: PA

Former Metropolitan Police detective sergeant John Curran, 49, who camped overnight at the protests, said he was willing to be arrested again after being detained by officers during the first round of action in April.

Mr Curran, who is father to a three-year-old daughter and now makes guitars for a living in Oxford, said: "I am willing to be arrested again unless some changes happen.

"Clearly there is some frustration (for the police) that they probably have better things to be doing, and I agree, but the responsibility for that must lie with the Government. Take action and we won't have to be here."

He added: "I'm not going to stoop to his (Mr Johnson's) level of name-calling. Take action: that's the only demand that I have."

What has the Government said?

Extinction Rebellion protesters camp out on on top of a van roof on Westminster Bridge near Parliament. Credit: PA

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appealed to the protesters to stop blocking London’s streets.

Labelling Extinction Rebellion activists as “uncooperative crusties”, the PM called on them to abandon their “hemp-smelling bivouacs” to allow the capital to function smoothly again.

Mr Johnson was speaking at the launch in London of the third volume of Margaret Thatcher’s biography by the former editor of The Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore.

He said the former prime minister had taken the issue of greenhouse gases seriously long before 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg was born.

Police attempt to move protesters outside Westminster Abbey during an Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster, London Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

“The best thing possible for the education of the denizens of the heaving hemp-smelling bivouacs that now litter Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park would be for them to stop blocking the traffic and buy a copy of Charles’s magnificent book so that they can learn about a true feminist, green and revolutionary who changed the world for the better,” Mr Johnson said.

He added: “I hope that when we go out from this place tonight and we are waylaid by importunate nose-ringed climate change protesters, we remind them that she (Mrs Thatcher) was also right about greenhouse gases.”

Mr Johnson said he had been advised by his security staff not to attend last night’s book launch “because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters of all kinds littering the road”.

Where else in the world are protests ongoing?

XR protesters have gathered in parts of the French capital, Paris. Credit: AP

The protests in London were part of worldwide movement which also saw activists take to the streets of other cities across the globe.

On Monday, activists blocked major roads in Berlin and Amsterdam while protests took place in major cities across Europe, including Paris, Vienna, Rome, Prague, Bratislava, Dublin and Budapest.

Further afield, members are demonstrating in various Indian cities, Tokyo, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Toronto and New York.