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  1. ITV Report

Traffic brought to a standstill by climate change protesters on Tyneside

Traffic was brought to a halt when dozens of climate change activists staged a slow-cycle roadblock during rush hour.

Extinction Rebellion protesters hoped to raise awareness of ongoing damage to the environment.

After gathering at Central Station, cyclists made their way around the city centre before riding over the Tyne Bridge.

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The roadblock came to an end outside Gateshead Council, where activists want a climate emergency called.

Protesters who did not have a bike were armed with placards and flags.

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The aim of the cycle event was to slow traffic, attract public attention and distribute leaflets.

The demonstration, which took place at 7.30am this morning, was organised by the North East branch of Extinction Rebellion.

The international movement aim to raise awareness of the factors which they claim will lead to "human extinction" and "ecological collapse".

Extinction Rebellion say they use non-violent civil disobedience in order to achieve radical change.

More than 1,000 campaigners have been arrested since Extinction Rebellionprotests began in central London on April 15.

Campaigners have already lay down on the floor in the Natural History Museum as part of a 'die-in' protest.

They have also marched to Parliament to invite MPs to discuss climate change policies.

Extinction Rebellion North East lay down at Grey's Monument in Newcastle to take part in a 'die in' protest on Wednesday night.

  • In a statement, a government spokesperson from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:

We’ve seen first-hand the impact climate change is having on our environment, and we share people’s passion to tackle this issue and protect our planet for future generations.

The UK is a global leader in this area, going further than any other G7 nation by cutting our emissions by 40% since 1990 whilst growing our economy by two-thirds, and we have high ambitions to go further. That’s why we've asked our independent climate experts for advice on a net zero emissions target and set out plans to transition to low emission vehicles and significantly reduce pollution through our Clean Air Strategy. We recognise the need to maintain momentum following the Paris Agreement and have therefore offered to host the UN Climate Summit in 2020.

The right to protest peacefully is a long-standing tradition in this country and a vital foundation of our democracy. People should be free to gather and demonstrate their views in public - provided they do so within the boundaries of law and without endangering the safety of the public.

– Government statement
Credit: ITV Tyne Tees