Police raid Extinction Rebellion activists as they batter down the door of London headquarters

At last! Police raid Extinction Rebellion activists as they batter down the door of group’s London warehouse ahead of fresh protests next week

  • Two police officers used a battering ram to break down a door yesterday
  • Officers were seen at the former Lambeth County Court in South London
  • They took crash barriers, scaffolding, solar panels and industrial batteries 

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Police raided eco-protest group Extinction Rebellion’s warehouse yesterday ahead of a planned two weeks of disruption involving more than 20,000 people.

Two police officers used a battering ram to break down the door of the former Lambeth County Court in South London after activists locked themselves inside.

Last night officers were seen taking crash barriers, scaffolding, solar panels and industrial batteries out of the warehouse. It is understood police were confiscating equipment which could be used to blockade roads and build protest sites during the demonstrations which begin tomorrow.

Two police officers used a battering ram to break down the door of the former Lambeth County Court in South London after activists locked themselves inside

Thousands of campaigners are planning to blockade Lambeth and Westminster bridges and shut all roads going into Westminster.

They want to bring the area to a standstill for two weeks, and promise the protests will be five times larger than the campaign in April, which paralysed large swathes of the capital.

In a pre-emptive action, at least 14 police officers in three vans swooped on the warehouse.

They arrested ten people on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. Just days ago, the Metropolitan Police’s Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said: ‘I think what we learned from [the April protests] is that we need to be agile, we need to be probably slightly more proactive and more ready in anticipation of what we might expect.’

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Extinction Rebellion (XR) is planning to ‘bring police resources to breaking point’ over the next two weeks.

Police raid Extinction Rebellion activists as they batter down the door of London headquarters

Last night officers were seen taking crash barriers, scaffolding, solar panels and industrial batteries out of the warehouse. It is understood police were confiscating equipment which could be used to blockade roads and build protest sites

They are telling anyone arrested during the protests to refuse bail in a bid to fill up all of London’s police cells. Police will then find it extremely difficult to arrest any more rebels during the fortnight of disruption because they will be forced to send them to cells outside London – draining them of vital resources.

The group claims to have 4,442 people who are prepared to be arrested, while there are just 683 police cells in London across 27 custody suites, according to 2017 Metropolitan Police data.

A senior Scotland Yard officer warned that XR protesters were putting a bigger strain on police resources than the terrorist attacks of 2017.

Forces across England have been asked to contribute specialist ‘protest removal teams’ who are trained and equipped to deal with protesters.

Scotland Yard has sought new powers to tackle the demonstrations, including the ability to prohibit those people freed on bail from immediately returning to a protest to commit new offences, plus powers to stop campaigners bringing large items such as boats to halt traffic.

XR is also planning to converge on London City Airport, blockade Smithfield meat market, target transport routes into the City of London, and project images on to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

Police raid Extinction Rebellion activists as they batter down the door of London headquarters

The group claims to have 4,442 people who are prepared to be arrested, while there are just 683 police cells in London across 27 custody suites, according to 2017 Metropolitan Police data.

Pictured, a man is detained outside Lambeth County Court

Activists have been told to buy ‘burner’ SIM cards for their mobile phones so they cannot be traced.

They have been armed with detailed instructions on how to encrypt phones and laptops and hide all forms of communication from police. This includes replacing traditional messaging apps such as WhatsApp with others including Signal and Wire, with ‘the potential for increased anonymity’. XR has also advised its followers to equip themselves with ’emotional wellbeing kits’ for their extended period camping outside – and suggests bringing an inspirational book and ‘a rescue remedy’ made from ‘essential oils along with a flannel, and body butter’.

XR members are urged to try out ‘grounding exercises’ to prepare for the protest that include looking for five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can smell, two things you can hear and one you can taste.

Actress Juliet Stevenson and musician Jarvis Cocker are expected to be at the group’s ‘opening ceremony’ in Trafalgar Square tomorrow.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘We have been preparing for this protest for several weeks now.

The policing operation will be proportionate to balance the right to a peaceful protest, while ensuring that disruption to communities is kept to a minimum.’

XR said: ‘We believe it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government. If the Government seriously acts on the emergency, there will be no disruption.’ 

DOUGLAS MURRAY: Why do we listen to a bunch of anarchists who can’t even work a fire hose?

A strange scene greeted tourists in Westminster on Thursday, as three green activists stood on top of a fire engine posing for photographers.

The engine was parked in front of the Treasury, a building they had just attempted to spray with 440 gallons of fake blood. Standing a few paces off were scores of police officers, waiting in silence.

The activists, from Extinction Rebellion (XR), believe they know exactly what is happening to our planet and how we must tackle it, but they do not know how to operate a fire hose. 

Police raid Extinction Rebellion activists as they batter down the door of London headquarters

The engine was parked in front of the Treasury, a building they had just attempted to spray with 440 gallons of fake blood

So after an initial burst against the Treasury, the protesters lost control and the hose went snaking around the pavement, spraying red paint around the floor and over any passers-by.

As I watched the police ranks in the aftermath, there was one thought above all: ‘Why are you just standing there doing nothing?’

If someone had parked their car at the back of Whitehall, it would have been towed away in a matter of seconds, yet these green fanatics had placed a fire engine outside one of the most prominent sites in the country.

Police raid Extinction Rebellion activists as they batter down the door of London headquarters

After an initial burst against the Treasury, the protesters lost control and the hose went snaking around the pavement, spraying red paint around the floor and over any passers-by

They had unveiled a banner that read ‘Stop funding climate death’ and defaced a Government building while the police did nothing, aside from offer some background colour for XR publicity shots. 

That passivity is depressingly typical – and the result is that green extremists are encouraged to do whatever they want unchallenged.

It was the same last April when the group tried to bring London to a standstill.

As bridges and major thoroughfares were shut down by XR protesters – bringing misery to ordinary members of the public – the police again seemed to think their role was to be mere observers. Or party-goers.

The protesters managed to shut down the whole area around Oxford Circus, costing millions of pounds in lost business on one of Britain’s busiest shopping streets. 

And what did the police do? A number of them were caught on camera dancing in a ‘rave’ with the protesters. At Waterloo Bridge, an officer was seen on a skateboard.

It was as if the constabulary wanted to be loved.

No care for the thousands of Londoners whose business had been damaged. 

Police raid Extinction Rebellion activists as they batter down the door of London headquarters

Red paint flooded the road outside the Treasury in London as protesters held a banner

No thought for the many people who just wanted to get from one side of the city to another without being told they couldn’t by a group who always think they know best on absolutely everything.

It is true that there were arrests following last week’s pantomime outside the Treasury, and a police raid on a house in South London yesterday suggests they may finally be getting on the front foot. 

But the supine response to the fanatics of XR is something which this country needs to address – and quickly.

For the group is planning to bring our capital to a halt repeatedly. They have even threatened to prevent the Queen’s Speech. 

Their refusal to acknowledge any view but their own deranged belief and their defiance of democratic norms is authoritarian, even fascistic. Just who do they think they are?

Police raid Extinction Rebellion activists as they batter down the door of London headquarters

As I watched the police ranks in the aftermath, there was one thought above all: ‘Why are you just standing there doing nothing?’ Pictured, police escorted the truck on October 3

The claims of Extinction Rebellion need to be disputed from their very roots.

Despite the childish certainty these extremists promote, the science of climate change is deeply contested. 

Most scientists agree there are variations going on but they disagree on exactly what the causes are. And, most importantly, there is almost no agreement on how to address them. 

Police raid Extinction Rebellion activists as they batter down the door of London headquarters

In recent months, 16-year-old Swedish school-truant and activist Greta Thunberg has (like XR) been trying to persuade people that the problem is straightforward

Even if the science is exactly as XR claims it is, it does not follow that the group’s draconian solutions are correct.

In fact, the answers they do offer are the worst ones possible, the equivalent of urging people to avoid death by old age by shooting ourselves now.

In recent months, 16-year-old Swedish school-truant and activist Greta Thunberg has (like XR) been trying to persuade people that the problem is straightforward and the answers clear: we must engineer the complete destruction of the global economic system. 

They blame ‘capitalism’ in particular, betraying the fact that many of these global-warming ideologues are little more than warmed-over communists.

XR and those like them ask that we should trust their claims and then volunteer to become immeasurably poorer. 

How they will persuade the Chinese (the world’s biggest polluters) to agree to this plan, nobody can say.

But they are happy to immiserate countries like this one first. And they claim that the system of economic growth, which, in this century, has already halved the number of people living in absolute poverty globally, is what needs destroying. 

It is time we stopped humouring this fanaticism.

Everywhere they exaggerate and catastrophise. 

Police raid Extinction Rebellion activists as they batter down the door of London headquarters

If someone had parked their car at the back of Whitehall, it would have been towed away in a matter of seconds, yet these green fanatics had placed a fire engine outside one of the most prominent sites in the country.

Pictured, an activist is helped down from the vehicle 

For instance, they claim that we are in the middle of a ‘climate emergency’, that more than a quarter of threatened species are now threatened with extinction. 

And they also claim that rising sea levels in the next 15 to 30 years will wipe out whole communities.

Every one of these assertions is contested. Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) does not come to conclusions anything like those claimed by Greta Thunberg and XR – and no serious authority comes even close to supporting the crazy, end-of-times theology now gripping the green movement.

If anyone doubts the fanatical nature of XR, listen to Roger Hallam, who leads XR in the UK and who organised the recent protests in London.

Hallam – like Thunberg – speaks and acts like a figure from the Middle Ages. With his deranged, glassy-eyed stare, he cries that the end is nigh and calls for acts of mass repentance by the sinners of the general public.

Nothing will persuade him that his ideas and tactics may be wrong.

In a recent interview, Hallam was asked if he would dedicate the rest of his life to XR. The answer was instructive. ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘because we’re all going to be dead soon, so there’s nothing else to do, is there?’

The tone is one of pure fanaticism. You can hear it when Thunberg delivers her unhinged sermons to the credulous global elites.

WHEN, for example, this privileged young girl berates the leaders of the world for ‘stealing’ her childhood – as though anyone other than her parents ever asked her to spend her time travelling around the world hectoring others on things she barely understands.

Police raid Extinction Rebellion activists as they batter down the door of London headquarters

The protesters managed to shut down the whole area around Oxford Circus (pictured on April 19), costing millions of pounds in lost business on one of Britain’s busiest shopping streets

It is the adults, of course, who are to blame, for even St Greta merely voices what she has been told to say and influenced to say by her parents and others.

Likewise, across Britain the teachers are indoctrinating pupils into a cult of climate alarmism – and then insist that we must listen to the children because it is only the young who have the wisdom to see the true extent of the catastrophe. 

The result – as families up and down the country will know- is many of our children actually believe that they will never reach old age.

And that before they have grown up, they will be consumed in a great ball of fire.

It is wicked to terrorise the young like this, to pretend that the children know best, to claim to be certain about things we do not know enough about.

And to pretend that Extinction Rebellion, the most extreme people of our time, must be placated.

If this madness is to be stopped then adults, from teachers to the police, must reassert themselves and do the jobs they are paid for.

They should stop colluding in this avalanche of law-breaking.

Otherwise, this era will be looked back upon in amazement by our children’s children, who will want to know: how did the luckiest generation in history throw it all away on the say-so of one little girl and a bunch of anarchists who couldn’t even operate a fire truck?

  • Douglas Murray is the author of The Madness Of Crowds: Gender, Race And Identity, published by Bloomsbury.

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