Furious lorry driver blasts eco-warrior for 'ridiculous' protest and wasting police resources
A FURIOUS lorry driver yelled at an Extinction Rebellion campaigner while stuck in traffic this morning – as the eco-warriors marched to Parliament Square.
The driver, at the wheel of a Reston Waste skip hire lorry, fumed at the bespectacled protester and accused the group of "disrupting normal people".
Scotland Yard has arrested more than 1,000 people linked to the group which has staged protests on London's bridges, brought traffic to a standstill, occupied Oxford Circus and taken part in a "die in" at the Natural History Museum.
Activists have even glued themselves to Jeremy Corbyn's Islington house and a Docklands Light Railway train.
Police have charged 71 people in connection with the ongoing protests.
In an angry confrontation this morning, the lorry driver vented his fury at a protester, who had his hair tied in a 'man bun'.
In footage, recorded by LBC, he told him: "You're making vehicles stop in traffic. This is ridiculous. I'm very frustrated. I'm trying to earn my money and all [this] is doing is disrupting normal people."
He told the campaigner the climate change protest was putting a huge strain on the overstretched police force.
Responding to that the protester said: "And we're very grateful to them. And we're grateful to you, sir, for waiting. We're really thankful."
But the driver snapped: "It's ridiculous. If I parked my lorry here and left it I'd get shifted on by the police. I wouldn't get them walking around with me. It's crazy, crazy, absolutely crazy."
Extinction Rebellion is calling for greater acknowledgement from the government of the problem of climate change, and a move towards a zero-carbon economy by 2025.
Today's demonstration – which coincides with the first day Parliament is sitting following the Easter recess – is the latest action by the eco-warriors in the capital.
Scotland Yard warned activists they face arrest if they don't confine their protest to Parliament Square or end any action before midnight.
Roger Hallam, a founder and organiser of Extinction Rebellion, said it had been the biggest civil disobedience event in recent British history.
The number of arrests had surpassed that at the anti-nuclear protests at Upper Heyford in 1982 (752), he said.
On Easter Monday, at least 100 protesters laid down under the blue whale skeleton at the Natural History Museum in a stunt organisers called a "die in".
Some protesters, wearing red face paint, veils and robes, remained to give a performance to classical music on the steps beneath the skeleton.
Olympic gold medallist Etienne Stott was one of the eco-warriors arrested on Waterloo Bridge on Sunday night as cops cleared the rebels.
The Met said it had cancelled officers' rest days and leave over the Easter weekend in order to deal with the disruption, as well as violent crime.
Cops had been criticised over their failure to stop the illegal protest last week with activists blocking Waterloo Bridge, Vauxhall Bridge, Oxford Circus and Parliament Square.
Sajid Javid has also come under fire for failing to reclaim streets from the protesters.
Tory MPs turned their anger on the Home Secretary over how cops were often standing by while protesters continued to barricade major roads in central London.
Government aide Huw Merriman MP branded the scenes “a national embarrassment”.
However Dame Emma Thompson blamed police for "wasting taxpayers' money" by trying to tackle the protests.
The Oscar-winning actress, 60, defended the illegal demonstrations at sites like Oxford Circus – where she joined protesters on a pink boat blocking traffic on the busy shopping street.
She said: "It's not like we are burning things down. The police turned up because they have been asked to turn up.
"They decided to spend their money in this way, which I personally think is a waste of taxpayers' money.
"We aren't doing anything violent."
Sir David shows the way
SIR David Attenborough was hailed for his TV climate change call to arms this week, with viewers calling it the real way to make people notice.
Fans said Thursday’s passionate BBC show, Climate Change — The Facts, did more than Extinction Rebellion’s disruptive protests.
The show, watched by 3.34 million people, outlined the crisis facing the planet using the quiet authority of Sir David, 92, left.
Independent MP Anna Soubry wrote online: “This is how you win change — by making the argument based on evidence, not clogging up our great capital #London.”
Sir David told viewers: “In the 20 years since I first started talking about the impact of climate change, conditions have changed far faster than I ever imagined.
“It may sound frightening, but the scientific evidence is that without dramatic action, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies.”
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