May 22 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 1, 2012
A protest group closed Tower Bridge for around an hour this afternoon after hanging a sign on the Paralympic agitos.
The sign, in black block letters on white fabric, read: “Climate change, our next challenge.”
It was put up by Climate Siren, a group which is “calling for great efforts of civil disobedience in the UK to demand urgent, meaningful and concerted action in response to global climate change”.
City of London Police closed the road because of the protest, and three people were arrested.
A police spokesman said: “We were alerted to two people who had abseiled off the top of Tower Bridge and suspended themselves to unfurl a protest banner.
“This caused the bridge to be closed in both directions to pedestrians and traffic.
“Specialist police recourses were deployed and approximately one hour later the protesters, a man and a woman, voluntarily climbed back on to the bridge and were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage and a public nuisance.
“A second man was seen to be assisting them and was arrested at the scene.”
In an open letter posted on its blog today, Climate Siren wrote: “The 2012 Olympics were a huge inspiration as to how we can come together to overcome challenges and achieve success – at many levels; as participants, as spectators, as competitors, even as a host nation. No doubt the Paralympics will equal or surpass this.
“But these Games can be an inspiration for us to confront the biggest challenge our species has ever faced – perhaps will ever face: The changing climate and the threat it poses to our civilisation’s very existence on this beautiful planet.”
The group ended their statement by writing: “Now is the time to take this seriously – to heed the facts and warnings from respected scientists and to have the courage to take the necessary actions, collectively. Let us use the inspiration of the Olympics and Paralympics as a springboard for a transition to a secure and sustainable future.”
Transport for London (TfL) had to divert four buses and curtail the route of another due to the closure of Tower Bridge, but a spokesman said everything returned to normal at around 3.50pm.