Extinction Rebellion: Campaigners To Block Major London Roads To Protest About Air Pollution

The group's Lewisham branch plan to 'swarm' roads during rush hour on Friday.

Extinction Rebellion, the group of climate change campaigners who brought London to a standstill in April, are preparing to block major London roads during rush hour to protest about air pollution.

Activists from the group’s Lewisham branch are planning to “swarm” roads in the south east of the city as commuters head to work on Friday, in an attempt to put pressure on the government over air quality.

In November London Mayor Sadiq Khan called Lewisham’s air quality a “health crisis”.

The death of a nine-year-old child who lived in the area is to be re-examined at an inquest, to determine whether it was linked to air pollution.

Toby Melville / Reuters

Ella Kissi-Debrah, who lived near the South Circular Road in Lewisham, died in 2013 after having an asthma attack. She had been having seizures for three years.

Lorna Greenwood, nine months pregnant and a mother of two, will be taking part in Friday’s action.

She said: “Air pollution is an environmental and health crisis across the UK.

“The aim is not to make life harder for ordinary people, we’ve all got jobs too and we know how annoying this is.

“It’s about forcing our politicians to confront the truth that our children are literally dying to breathe.”

Extinction Rebellion have said that drivers heading towards central London on Friday morning will be disrupted on the A205 South Circular in Catford, on the A21 at Lewisham station, and on the A2 in Deptford, between 7.30am and 9am.

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They have said that traffic will be blocked for up to seven minutes at a time, as they protest against air pollution in the borough.

It is the latest in a series of actions by Extinction Rebellion, who brought parts of central London to a standstill in April.

Protesters in Parliament Square, Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch led to road closures and traffic gridlock for ten days.

More than 1,000 people were arrested after campaigners glued themselves to DLR trains and parked a boat in the middle of Oxford Circus.

Extinction Rebellion was set up with the aim of getting the government to respond to demands for tougher action on climate change, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and creating a citizens’ assembly on climate and ecological justice.