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700 arrested amid climate protests in London, police say
Hundreds of activists were arrested in downtown London Saturday as thousands protested urging the British government to act on reducing carbon emissions.
London Metropolitan Police told Reuters in a statement that 750 protesters had been arrested Saturday amid the demonstrations, while just 28 had so far been charged with criminal offenses.
The arrest total is up from Friday's rally, when 682 protesters were arrested. The "Extinction Rebellion," which hosted this weekend's protests, has urged British citizens to commit civil disobedience to force Prime Minister Theresa May's government to take stronger action to reduce the U.K.'s carbon emissions.
"I've got one message for the protesters and that is: Please, go to Marble Arch where you can protest lawfully. Stop your unlawful protest, and if you don't want to go to Marble Arch, then go home," Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said, according to the news service.
The protests were causing a "miserable disruption" to London traffic, the commissioner added, while stating that 1,500 police officers had been deployed to maintain security.
Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson was among the protesters on Saturday, blasting what she said was an indescribable "level of hypocrisy from our government."
"I absolutely wanted to be arrested on my 60th birthday but I didn't quite manage that," she added. "I'm so proud and thrilled to be part of Extinction Rebellion."