The Met Police has placed restrictions on part of what is being billed as the world’s largest climate strike on Friday.
Students, workers and campaigners are walking out of lessons and lectures to call for urgent climate action, and are being backed by unions, charities, businesses and politicians.
The marchers had originally planned to leave their workplaces at 10.30am and converge on Westminster Bridge where they were to meet the striking cleaners from the Department of Business before marching on Central London.
But on Thursday the Met Police said in a statement the protest “must take place in Millbank and Abingdon Street London, SW1P, from the stage area on South of Dean Stanley Street, to the junction of Abingdon Street with Parliament Square”.
It added: “Assembly cannot take place in any other part of London. Any assembly must conclude at 15:30hrs on Friday, 20 September.”
In justifying the decision to impose restrictions on the climate march, the Met Police cited “intelligence reports” that suggested that “serious disruption is an objective of this protest and is likely to occur.”
Protests are taking place worldwide, and the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) says more than 200 events are taking place across the UK, with – for the first time – adults being encouraged to join the youngsters as they strike.
UKSCN is calling on politicians to bring in a “Green New Deal” to cut the UK’s emissions to zero, make changes to education to equip youngsters to deal with the climate crisis and allow votes at age 16 to give them a voice, PA Media reports.
It is part of a global movement, inspired by teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s school strikes outside the Swedish parliament, calling on politicians and business leaders to take urgent action to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
The latest strikes come ahead of a climate action summit in New York convened by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to urge countries to up their climate efforts.
More action is needed by countries to bridge the gap between the measures they have already promised to take and what is needed to prevent temperature rises of more than 1.5C (2.7F) or 2C (3.6F) and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who will be addressing a rally of climate strikers outside parliament on Friday, has taken to Twitter to back the children going on strike, saying they “are leading the way and I’ll be proud to join them tomorrow”.
The University and College Union (UCU) is encouraging its members to take part in the global day of action and has written to the national representatives of universities and colleges asking them to allow staff to take part.
General secretary Jo Grady said: “The trade union movement is fully behind the global action against the climate crisis; our planet’s future is at risk and now is the time for bold action.”
Some businesses are actively supporting their workers to take action, with outdoor clothing company Patagonia closing stores and offices globally, and taking out adverts to support the strikers.
In Manchester, Patagonia is hosting a sign-making workshop on Thursday evening to help equip strikers, and on Friday staff will walk out of the city’s store at 10am to join the strike at Manchester Central Library.