Extinction Rebellion Shuts Down Manchester
Above Photo: Extinction Rebellion demonstrators have brought Deansgate to a standstill since Friday morning, to highlight the threat of climate change (Image: Joel Goodman)
“Any action to disrupt major transport links impacting businesses and communities will be totally unacceptable”
Greater Manchester Police have urged climate change protesters to allow the city to get back to normal following this weekend’s demonstration.
Extinction Rebellion demonstrators have brought Deansgate to a standstill since Friday morning, to highlight the threat of climate change.
Roads remained closed to all cars from St Mary’s Gate to John Dalton Street as hundreds of protesters gathered for talks on sustainable living, climate chance and resistance.
Police and council chiefs agreed to the closure of the busy shopping street until Monday, but GMP have now warned of further disruption and uncertainty about when the protest might end.
It is thought that the protest could continue through Monday and into Tuesday – at the least.
In a statement, they thanked demonstrators for a weekend of ‘minimal disruption’ but warned that any action to disrupt businesses and the community will be ‘totally unacceptable.’
Travel for Greater Manchester warned road users of disruption on Monday morning, due to ‘limited information’ about when the protest will end.
Restaurant staff on Deansgate claimed Extinction Rebellion protesters have cost them thousands of pounds over the course of the weekend.
An assistant manager of tapas restaurant, La Viña, told the Manchester Evening News that the restaurant had lost around £3,000 because the walk-ins they’d usually expect had gone elsewhere.
And on Sunday evening, dozens of young supporters staged a ‘die in’ at the Arndale, shouting “What do we want? Climate change! When do we want it? Now!”
GMP say they are continuing to liaise with protesters, but have warned that preparing a response has been ‘extremely challenging.’
Here is the full statement from Greater Manchester Police:
“GMP and partners have been working together to facilitate Extinction Rebellion’s protest in Manchester.
“While it’s been a busy weekend with a variety of events, match days and protests in and around the city, it’s passed safely, with minimal disruption.”
“It is anticipated that Extinction Rebellion will continue its protest during Monday, 2 September, into Tuesday, 3 September.
“There have been very few incidents so far and we would urge protesters not to take any action that would significantly impact on the public and businesses in Manchester.
“There will be an increased police presence in and around the city and across our transport network into this week.
“GMP has taken steps to ensure there’s enough officers to police the protests and the rest of Greater Manchester and will adapt and flex its resources as necessary over the coming days.
“Officers continue to liaise with the protesters to best understand their plans over the coming days. However, it is extremely challenging to prepare our response with limited information so the public can expect further disruption.
“Any action to disrupt major transport links impacting businesses and communities will be totally unacceptable.
“Since Friday we have facilitated their right to protest in Manchester. We ask that they now allow the people of Manchester to go about their faily business without further disruption.”
A TfGM spokesperson said: “Due to the ongoing Extinction Rebellion protest taking place in Manchester city centre we are expecting disruption on roads tomorrow morning.
“We are working closely with our partners – including GMP and Manchester Council – to assess the impact of any further actions, but we have limited information.
“As such we would encourage anyone heading into the city centre to use trams or trains if possible and to allow additional time for journeys if driving.”