London jails filled up with climate activists as arrests top 300

Police remove climate change protestors who had glued themselves to the roof of a DLR train at Canary wharf station on the third day of an environmental protest by the Extinction Rebellion group, in London on April 17, 2019. (AFP photo)
Reports from the British capital London suggest police has decided to transfer activists arrested during a massive climate protest in the city to other areas in the country as jails have no more room to accommodate more than 300 people nabbed during three days of demonstrations.

The Metropolitan police said on Wednesday that it would not discuss details of its cell capacity for those jailed during climate protests in London despite reports suggesting capital’s cells were rapidly filling up with activists nabbed over the noisy and sometimes violent action.

“Contingency plans are in place should custody suites become full. We will not discuss [the matter] further for operational reasons,” said a Met spokesperson, adding “Those who have been arrested are being taken to MPS custody suites throughout London.”

The protests, started on Monday and led by environment group Extinction Rebellion, have brought the British capital to a standstill with activists demanding more government action on climate change have disrupted the transport and attacked facilities owned by multi-national energy companies.The Guardian said reports that police cells in London were under pressure were credible given an analysis of the data from previous years and the fact that police budget has been facing recurrent cuts over the years.

The massive number of arrests came as many believed police had been advised not to be tough on the protesters. Videos and footages showed officers watching noisy activists and even trying to speak to them.

Two black women attending the protest told the Guardian they were shocked to see the inaction from a London police force which is quite known for its harsh actions on black people.

“If this was anything but Caucasian people, there would have been armed police officers and a big problem,” said one of the women.