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Police begin removing Extinction Rebellion activists blocking M32 at Cabot Circus in Bristol

Extinction Rebellion protesters block the road at Cabot Circus. Credit: ITV News West Country

Police are beginning to remove climate change activists from their blockade on the M32 as ongoing protests by Extinction Rebellion continue.

Watch the latest here:

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The protest at the end of the M32 by Cabot Circus has caused congestion in the area and led to a number of diversions for public transport.

Officers say some protesters "glued themselves to a bath tub" on the route, causing further delays.

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed the force was responding to an "escalation of action" by making arrests.

A group of about 30 protestors initially stopped traffic in Newfoundland Road but then moved to block the M32 inbound near to Bond Street at about 6.50am today.

After a group of protestors glued themselves to a bath tub on a middle lane section of the motorway, officers moved into make arrests, assisted by a specialist protest removal team.

The arrests are ongoing and we will update on numbers later today. The arrests are in relation to the obstruction of a highway.

– Avon and Somerset Police

Chief Inspector Mark Runacres said his force had been trying to balance their "duties under the Human Rights Act to allow peaceful protests" with "the need to reduce the amount of disruption to the public and keep people safe".

He added:

“The action taken by some of the protesters this morning has crossed the line and is a situation we can no longer accept. We were clear that we would take robust action to maintain public safety and that’s what we’re doing".

Police begin their operation to remove Extinction Rebellion protesters from their blockade on the M32. Credit: ITV West Country

The climate change activists from Extinction Rebellion started to gather in the area from around 6.30am this morning (Wednesday 17 July).

Earlier footage shows protesters blocking the route, leading to the gradual build-up of traffic throughout the morning.

Watch as campaigners gather on the M32:

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Traffic was queuing for almost an hour as the rebels blocked the M32 inbound travelling into Bristol city centre.

Watch here:

People have been sharing their reaction to the climate change group on social media:

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On Tuesday (16 July), College Green was closed after protesters gathered outside Bristol City Hall on the second day of their planned uprising.