Extinction Rebellion announces launch of daily 'mass participation' protests in London

'I'm trying to safeguard the future of the human race' - Tap above to watch Lucrezia Millarini's report on Friday's protests

Extinction Rebellion (XR) has announced that it will launch daily “mass participation” protests from London’s Hyde Park, beginning on April 9.

Spokesman Andrew Smith said on Friday that the group will be "more disruptive than ever" as it encouraged people to speak out against what it called "government inaction".

In an online briefing, Smith said the group is expecting "huge numbers" at the meetings, which will begin at 10am in Hyde Park.

Smith went on: “In the tradition of non-violent civil disobedience, we will disrupt business as usual until the government and big business make change. We need everyone to join us.”

"The energy crisis is really starting to hit home on people, and people really want us to step up into a space where their voice is heard," Smith said.

Smith added: "In London we won’t have pink boats, we won’t have pink tables, we will just have people power."

In 2019 the XR activists blockaded Oxford Circus for five days with a pink boat that was used by actor Emma Thompson as a stage to rally protesters.

His statement came as Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion protesters blocked 10 oil terminals in the south east and Birmingham on Friday.

Smith said the plan for the oil terminal protests is to “blockade those sites for as long as possible”.

ExxonMobil UK, one of the country’s largest privately-owned underground oil pipeline distribution networks, said it had shut down three of its sites.

XR has blocked at least one site with a boat, and supporters are also “locked on to tripods”, he said.

Activists are sitting on roads preventing tankers from leaving the sites.

It listed the locations as:

– Inter Terminals UK, Grays, Essex

– Navigator Terminals Thames, Grays, Essex

– Buncefield Oil Depot, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

– Esso Birmingham Fuel Terminal, Birmingham, West Midlands

– Esso West London Terminal near Heathrow Airport, west London

– BP’s Hamble Oil Terminal, Southampton, Hampshire

– ExxonMobil’s Hythe Terminal, Southampton, Hampshire

– Esso’s Purfleet Fuels Terminal, Purfleet, Essex

– Kingsbury Oil Terminal, Kingsbury, Warwickshire

– BP Oil Depot, Kingsbury, Warwickshire

Essex Police arrested 13 people on suspicion of obstructing the highway.

Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Nolan said the force is “working to minimise the disruption”.

She went on: “This is an extremely dangerous situation for the protesters to be in.

“We are being clear on the risks and are continuing to engage with them to try and bring this to a conclusion.

“My hope is that this will be resolved safely and swiftly, so that our officers can get back to protecting and serving the people of Essex.”

Hampshire Police said: “Officers are currently on the scene to facilitate the protesters’ right to peaceful protest, to ensure the health and safety of those involved and to minimise the impact on the local community and businesses.

“No arrests have been made at this stage.”

Just Stop Oil said in a statement: “The Just Stop Oil coalition is demanding an end to the Government’s genocidal policy of expanding UK oil and gas production and is calling on all those outraged at the prospect of climate collapse and suffering from the cost-of-living crisis to stand with us.

“Ordinary people can no longer afford oil and gas, it’s time to Just Stop Oil.

“It’s funding war and killing people in the global South, while destroying the future for young people everywhere.”

ExxonMobil UK wrote on Twitter: “Small protests are currently underway outside our Hythe, Birmingham and West London fuel terminals.

“While we respect the right to peaceful protest, our priority is the safety of our people, our neighbours, the protestors and our operations.

“We are working with the police to ensure that safety is maintained.”