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Police defend approach as climate change activists Extinction Rebellion continue road blockade in Leeds

Police say they are trying to manage the protest 'peacefully' Credit: Yorkshire Television

West Yorkshire Police says it is trying to manage a climate change protest "peacefully" amid criticism of disruption caused by a road blockade in Leeds city centre.

Members of the Extinction Rebellion group are staging a second day of demonstrations on Victoria Bridge – one of the main routes into the city.

Yesterday they installed a yellow boat on the bridge, forcing motorists to follow diversions.

The action is part of a series of nationwide protests over government inaction on the issue of climate change.

In a series of tweets, West Yorkshire Police set out its approach to handling the blockade, saying the force was trying to "manage people’s right to protest, with balancing the public’s right to go about their daily business".

But there was criticism of the approach on social media, with some people claiming that the protestors should be removed for causing a highways obstruction.

Demonstrators say the world is facing a climate emergency and time is running out to act.

Alex Evans, who is at the Leeds protest, said: My eldest child is nine years old and for each of those nine years I’ve watched her future get steadily worse while everyone waits for everyone else to do something on climate change.

"Now we’re out of time and we can see climate breakdown all around us. Enough’s enough, it’s time to act now.”