- The Metropolitan Police said two people had been arrested in the Strand as activists gathered across London
- Schoolchildren joined the protests in Britain after they were urged to walk out of classes and lectures today
- State schools urged pupils not to attend, while some private schools urged them to make their own decision
- Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and mayor Sadiq Khan have been among those to praise young demonstrators
- Do you know any of the protesters taking part in today’s climate action? You can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Police have moved in and made their first arrests as the largest worldwide climate protest in history arrived in London today with hundreds of thousands of Brits taking part in demonstrations across the country.
Activists, many of whom carried Extinction Rebellion flags and banners, have descended on the capital as the Global Strike 4 Climate Change movement kicked off in the UK to coincide with protests all over the planet.
The Metropolitan Police said two people had been arrested in the Strand for breaching conditions imposed on the protesters which dictate they must gather in a specific place in Westminster, central London.
Schoolchildren joined in on more than 200 different climate strikes events in Britain after they were urged to walk out of classes and lectures today, with hundreds of thousands of workers expected to join them.
Politicians have been split on whether or not pupils should be skipping lessons to attend the climate protests, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and mayor Sadiq Khan among those to praise young demonstrators.
Mr Corbyn tweeted an image from the protest in London and is due to address a rally of climate strikers outside Parliament, while dozens of other mass-scale events are being held up and down the country.
State school leaders have urged youngsters not to take part, saying they understand the strength of feeling around the issue, but have concerns about pupil welfare.
But Suzie Longstaff, headmistress of the £18,900-a-year private Putney High School in south-west London, said that young people should be able to make their own decisions about whether to take part in today’s action.
Police officers form a cordon outside Parliament Square, as demonstrators were asked to protest in specified areas
Young climate strikers across the country (pictured here in Millbank, London this morning) are taking to the streets as part of a global protest to demand urgent action to tackle climate change
But Ms Longstaff said: ‘Every day we are educating the young people of the future to speak out and make their own decisions. SOURCE
‘We are trying to provide a modern and relevant education which includes connecting to topics that they feel passionate about. We can’t pick and choose what those are.
‘I’m proud that Putney students have both a social and environmental conscience and I applaud them. Those who feel strongly about protesting will be there.’
Tweeting a photo from a climate strike, Mr Corbyn said: ‘Young people here and across the world are making it impossible to ignore the environment and climate emergency.
‘This is the wonderful youth Climate Strike in my constituency; now I’m on my way to the main London demonstration.’
London Mayor Mr Khan called on the Government to ‘step up’ action on climate change, adding: ‘I am standing in solidarity with all those who are taking part in the Global Climate Strike.
‘Here in London, City Hall staff have also been encouraged to observe the strike by taking time out of their day to send a message to the world that London demands more ambitious climate actions from governments.’