The climate activists, galvanised by social media savvy Extinction Rebellion, have blocked major London thoroughfares in five parts of the capital. Sky News asked some of the drivers who were stuck in the traffic deadlock what they though of the protests. One man raged: “I mean, that’s fair enough really. But we’re pumping fuel out the back of this while they’re stopping us from going.
“I’m not happy about it.
“It’ll cost me another two hours in the day.”
Meanwhile, others took to Twitter to vent their frustration after roads were blocked and traffic was at a standstill in some places.
One user wrote: “I don’t care if Extinction Rebellion protest Climate Change but for god’s sake, don’t block the traffic!
“People have lives, people have jobs and they don’t need you getting in their way.
Protest all you want but don’t block the traffic!”
Another sardonically wrote: “Notes from last #ExtinctionRebellion meeting:
“Ok, how do we get more people to join the cause?
“We could cause a traffic jam and upset the public?
“Brilliant, get the boats”
The first human roadblock closed Waterloo Bridge to traffic in both directions on Monday morning before protesters descended onto the roads at Oxford Circus and Marble Arch.
Hundreds of people gathered outside Oxford Circus Tube station around a bright pink boat, where some used makeshift devices to lock their arms together.
In Parliament Square, others unfurled banners, held up placards and waved flags as speakers took to the stage.
Campaign group Extinction Rebellion is expecting thousands to join the peaceful protests, which could last for weeks, as they demand the Government takes urgent action on climate change and wildlife declines.
Organisers have warned activists they could face arrest for blocking traffic and Transport for London said travellers face disruption and delays.
The movement has received support from actress and activist Dame Emma Thompson and former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams.
Speaking at a meditation on the eve of the protests Dr Williams said humans had declared war on nature.
He said: “We are here tonight to declare that we do not wish to be at war.
“We wish to make peace with ourselves by making peace with our neighbour Earth and with our God.”
Thompson has previously said of the demonstrations: “It is time to stand up and save our home.”
Organisers said: “The International Rebellion begins and Extinction Rebellion will be bringing London to a standstill for up to two weeks.
“They will be blocking five of the city’s busiest and most iconic locations in a non-violent, peaceful act of rebellion where they invite people to join them for several days of creative, artist-led resistance.”
Demonstrators arrived at London’s Hyde Park on Sunday, some having journeyed to the city on foot in recent weeks from various parts of the UK for what is described as an International Rebellion.
Monday will see people in at least 80 cities in more than 33 countries hold similar demonstrations on the same environmental issues, campaigners said.