Air pollution Extinction Rebellion protesters have glued themselves to concrete blocks on Cranbourne Street outside Leicester Square tube station to demand action from the next government this morning.
A sign on a van from this protest blocking the way reads “Air Pollution Kills 25 Londoners Each Day”, according to Kings College London.
Protesters wearing gas masks and high-visibility suits lying down the street from 6.45am and holding 25 breeze blocks to symbolize those who lose their lives each day in the demonstration of #TheAirWeGrieve.
Activists from the group said Cranbourne Street has been chosen for its dangerously high levels of air pollution. The data shows 2 million people are living with illegal air pollution in London today, including 400,000 children. Toxic air contributes to between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths a year across the UK.
Emily Wang, owner of a restaurant near Leicester Square Station said: “There were people sitting on the street to block the way earlier this morning but later 7 people were arrested by the policy.”
Extinction Rebellion spokesperson and teacher, Rosamund Frost, said: “We are here demanding action on illegal levels of toxic air in our communities, our schools and our streets.”
“In February 2017, the European Commission issued a ‘final warning’ to the UK over illegal levels of air pollution.”
“In May that year, after the Government failed to take decisive action, they were taken to Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Justice.”
“The Government have neglected to tackle fatal levels of air pollution. How can we put our trust in them to address the broader climate and ecological emergency?”
It is said the toxic air in London right now can impact permanent births, childhood asthma and other respiration illness. Vishal Chauhan from organization of Extinction Rebellion UK said: “Climate crisis is happening right now, people are dying right now in London. We need system change, this current system is not adequate, we need candidates that adopt three demands bill and do all their power to ensure it becomes law.”
The three demands bill is also known as the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill which calls for:
Tell the truth: Tell the truth by declaring a Climate and Ecological Emergency and do all in their power to communicate the urgency for change, including working with government and other institutions.
Act Now: Promote policies to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
Beyond Party Politics: Help the government create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
This action is a part of Election Rebellion on this Saturday’s general election. Meanwhile, other Extinction Rebellion protesters were entering their fourth week on hunger strike outside political party headquarters in Westminster asking party leaders to meet them to discuss and support the Bill.
Hunger Strikers, including Peter Cole, a 76-year-old grandfather and emeritus professor of respiratory medicine, have invited the Prime Minister and the media to meet them outside Conservative Party Headquarters at midday.