Extinction Rebellion: Arrests at Sydney and Amsterdam protests

Media captionDozens of people have been arrested around the world

Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion activists have been arrested as protests take place across the globe.

Thirty people were charged with committing offences in Sydney after hundreds blocked a road, while more than 100 were arrested in Amsterdam.

Demonstrations have taken place in countries including Germany, Spain, Austria, France and New Zealand.

Protests by climate change activists are expected in some 60 cities over the next two weeks.

The group is also causing disruption in London, where more than 130 people were arrested on Monday.

  • Who are Extinction Rebellion and what do they want?
  • Twelve years to save the planet? Make that 18 months

Extinction Rebellion wants governments to take immediate and drastic action to address climate change.

“We have tried petitions, lobbying and marches, and now time is running out,” Australian activist Jane Morton told the AFP news agency.

“We have no choice but to rebel until our government declares a climate and ecological emergency and takes the action that is required to save us.”

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Fifty people were arrested in Amsterdam

Australia’s government has been criticised for its lack of action in tackling climate change but it insists that it is doing its part to reduce global carbon emissions.

The country’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said last week that names and photos of Extinction Rebellion protesters should be widely distributed to “shame” them.

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An activist in Berlin wears a cloak saying “Janina, 21, would like to have children”

What’s been happening and where?

  • In Sydney, protesters staged a sit-in on a main road. Hundreds were pulled away from the scene and 30 of them were charged. Australians have also been protesting in Melbourne and Brisbane
  • There were a handful of arrests in New Zealand, where activists surrounded the government building in Wellington that houses the ministry granting oil and gas drilling permits
  • More than 100 were arrested in Amsterdam after they erected a tent camp on the main road outside the Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum
  • Activists blocked traffic in Berlin, where authorities have said they will refrain from making arrests for the time being
  • In Paris, 1,000 activists backed by the yellow-vest anti-government movement have reportedly occupied a shopping centre

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There was a heavy police presence in London, with widespread protests expected

More than 130 activists have already been detained in London, with organisers vowing to shut down key sites in the city including the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square.

Similar protests in the UK earlier this year brought major disruption to London and resulted in more than 1,100 arrests.

Protests are expected to spread across dozens of cities, including Delhi and New York, in the days and weeks ahead as activists call for urgent environmental action.

What is Extinction Rebellion?

Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change.

It describes itself as an international “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”.

Extinction Rebellion was launched in the UK in 2018 and says it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.

The group uses an hourglass inside a circle as its logo to represent time running out for many species.

What are its aims?

In the UK, Extinction Rebellion has three main demands:

  • The government must declare a climate “emergency”
  • The UK must legally commit to reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2025
  • A citizens’ assembly must be formed to “oversee the changes”