Emma Thompson joined climate change activists in central London on Friday to read poetry praising Earth’s bounties, part of a series of protests which have caused transport snarl-ups in the British capital.
The organisers Extinction Rebellion have called for non-violent civil disobedience to force the British government to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025 and stop what they call a global climate crisis.
Extinction Rebellion has blocked several locations in central London this week after staging a semi-nude protest in parliament earlier this month.
“Our planet is in serious trouble,” Thompson told reporters.
“We are here in this island of sanity and it makes me so happy to be able to join you all and to add my voice to the young people here who have inspired a whole new movement,” said Thompson, one of Britain’s most acclaimed actresses who has won two Academy Awards.
She was one of several actors who read poems celebrating the beauty of nature from a pink boat lodged by the protesters at Oxford Circus in central London.
The protesters formed a human chain around the boat, which officials say has been locked to the ground, making it extremely difficult for police to remove.
Thompson’s appearance followed a demonstration near Heathrow Airport earlier, where a group of around a dozen teenagers, some as young as 13 and 14, held a banner alongside a busy road which read: “Are we the last generation?”
Some of the teenagers wept and hugged each other, although they were far outnumbered by police.
The protests did not cause travel disruption on Friday during one of Britain’s main holiday weekends.
But the Police have now dismantled a pink boat in central London that had formed the centrepiece of demonstrations by Extinction Rebellion protesters.
However, hundreds of demonstrators later moved back into Oxford Circus, blocking traffic.
The Met said 106 people had been arrested on Friday bringing the total number of arrests to 682 since the action started on Monday.
Environmental activists have also been in action in other parts of the world.
In Paris, they blocked the entrance of the Societe Generale bank headquarters, as part of a protest urging world leaders to act on climate change.
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