'Hypocritical and lawless!' Khan urged to act now to halt Extinction Rebellion's next move

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Susan Hall, leader of the London Assembly Tories, urged the London Mayor to intervene because the occupation by the eco-zealots would “tie up police resources while criminals run rampant during this horrendous crime wave”. Extinction Rebellion are planning to protest in the park for three days from September 10 to raise awareness of climate change.

It comes as Sadiq Khan provoked fury when he suggested a spate of violent crime in the capital this year was due to longer days, school holidays and summer heatwaves.

The mayor was speaking after six murders were reported in the capital in less than a week, including the stabbing of 87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran in Greenford, west London.

Extinction Rebellion insist the demonstration will be a “festival of resistance” including “non-disruptive and community building activities”.

But Ms Hall said the group’s previous protests had led to “criminal damage, road blockages, and serious criminal behaviour on London”.

She said: “Extinction Rebellion’s hypocritical and lawless occupation will do nothing to reduce climate change, but it will tie up police resources while criminals run rampant during this horrendous crime wave.

“These activists want to bully the Met Police into allowing a disorderly takeover of Hyde Park, threatening to unleash criminal damage, road blockages, and serious criminal behaviour on London.

“Sadiq Khan cannot blame this one on the weather. The mayor needs to intervene, stop the occupation, and allow the police to focus on keeping Londoners safe.”

Extinction Rebellion said on its website: “We have chosen to occupy a green space [Hyde Park] and focus our attention on non-disruptive, mobilising, educational and community building activities. We are publicly sharing this plan and so the Met would be aware of it whether we chose to liaise with them or not.

READ MORE: Drivers warned of road chaos as fuel protests set to hit the UK today

“However, Sadiq is clear that protests must be carried out safely and lawfully and should not put Londoners or the capital’s economic recovery at risk.

“The Mayor’s top priority is protecting Londoners and he fully supports the Met’s efforts to keep Londoners safe and to keep our city running.”

Speaking last week following a week of serious crime in the capital, Mr Khan insisted that London is a safe city, but has “one hand tied behind my back” in efforts to combat a spate of summer violence.

The Mayor of London said the public were “caught in the crossfire” of Government policy decisions, after six suspected murders in just four days.

He said: “One homicide is a homicide too many, and one victim of crime is one victim of crime too many, but I feel like over the last six years I’ve had one hand tied behind my back because of austerity.

“We’ve lost 21,000 officers, the Government has now said it will replace them with 20,000 officers when our population has gone up.

“We’ve had cuts in youth workers, in youth services, in after-school clubs, in services councils provide because of the choice made by the govt and it is Londoners who are caught in the crossfire.”

Asked if London is still safe, he said “it is” because gun crime, knife crime, knife injury, those injured by knives under the age of 25, moped crime and burglary was down, and “compared to last year teenage homicides are down by more than 68 percent”.

Mr Khan added: “That’s no consolation though if you’re the victim of crime or a bereaved family which is why I’m determined to make sure that we make more progress as well.”

Extinction Rebellion has risen in profile over the past five years after holding a series of extremely disruptive protests.

The group caused transport chaos in London in 2019 after activists glued themselves to tube trains, and made a scene in Trafalgar Square last year then they covered the iconic London landmark with red paint.

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