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Police arrest 113 as violence plagues London climate protest

British police officers carry an activist as they remove them from their blockade of Waterloo Bridge on the second day of an environmental protest by the Extinction Rebellion group, in London on April 16, 2019. (AFP photo)

UK police have arrested a total of 113 people as violent protesters block roads in the capital London, demanding more action from the government on what they call an escalating ecological crisis.

“There have been 113 arrests in total, the majority of which are for breach of Section 14 Notice of the Public Order Act 1986 and obstruction of the highway,” London police said on Tuesday following violent protests a day earlier which brought parts of the city to a standstill.

Some protesters remained on the streets and key locations in London, including in Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and Waterloo Bridge, for a second day of the protest which is led by British climate group Extinction Rebellion.

Police said five of the arrests were related to a mutiny in front of the headquarters of oil giant Shell in southeast London. That came after activists sprayed colors on the walls of the property and smashed its windows.

Thousands attended the protest in London which came concurrent with demonstrations in 33 countries led by Extinction Rebellion. The group and its supporters have been calling on the UK government to declare an ecological emergency. Members of the group staged a nude protest in the main hall of the UK parliament earlier this month as their demands for a legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 went unnoticed.

The escalated protests come amid accusations on the British government that it has not respected its commitments under international agreements to ban those types of oil and gas operations that are deemed dangerous.

Some experts have even accused the government of imitating the administration of US President Donald Trump when it comes to environment protection, saying London has mostly failed to stick to policies that could improve the quality of life in the country.

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