Extinction Rebellion activists blockade London Stock Exchange

Climate change activists have targeted London's financial districts to highlight what they call the business world's "role in our collective suicide" on the 10th and final day of disruptive protests.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) demonstrators temporarily blockaded the London Stock Exchange by gluing themselves across entrances to the trading hub in the City of London early on Thursday morning.

They were unattached before being taken away in police vans, with Scotland Yard saying 26 people had been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespassing.

The Exchange said all markets were open as normal.

Elsewhere, five protesters including 83-year-old grandfather Phil Kingston clambered onto the roof of a DLR train at Canary Wharf station in east London, holding signs saying "business as usual = death" and "don't jail the canaries".

British Transport Police (BTP) used ropes, ladders and harnesses to remove them before confirming five people were arrested.

In central London, dozens of XR members including drummers and banner-carriers could be seen demonstrating outside offices of bankers Goldman Sachs on Fleet Street. The group moved down the road and blockaded it at intervals, with around a dozen buses seen stuck on either side of the blockade.

Some protesters were arrested at the scene.

Organisers say groups will target up to 10 locations by "swarming" areas including the Bank of England and Rothschild and Co in the City of London, and Deutsche Bank near Liverpool Street.

XR said its action in the City of London was likely to last a few hours, on the day the group is due to end blockades at Parliament Square and Marble Arch.

A "closing ceremony" is due to be held at Speaker's Corner, Hyde Park, at around 5pm but the group said the public should expect more action "very soon".

An XR spokeswoman said Thursday's targets were selected because "the financial industry is responsible for funding climate and ecological destruction and we are calling on them, the companies and the institutions that allow this to happen, to tell the truth".

The spokeswoman added the sign "business as usual = death" was a reference to "the financial sector's role in our collective suicide".

Eco-protesters have urged ministers to declare a climate emergency to avoid what it calls a "sixth mass extinction" of species on Earth.

Some 1,130 people have been arrested during the protests which started on April 15, while more than 10,000 police officers have been deployed. The Metropolitan Police said 69 people have been charged.

The action has seen Waterloo Bridge and Oxford Circus blocked, a "die-in" at the Natural History Museum, and activists gluing themselves to objects.

Reuters