Environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion (XR) blocked the London Bridge on the ninth day of their two-week climate protests, demanding the government to address the climate crisis.
XR activists closed off one of the busiest bridges in the capital of England on Aug. 31 with an open-top bus, which the police quickly surrounded.
Footage on social media showed the Metropolitan police using batons and dragging protesters.
British news website The Guardian reported witnessing the police striking and wrestling with protesters.
“What we witnessed from the Met police there was breaking glass when people were nearby, and use of truncheons and use of force. I saw someone in a headlock, people being thrown around. It was an act of aggression in the face of peaceful civil disobedience,” XR Co-founder Gail Bradbrook said, according to The Guardian.
“It begs the question of quite what instructions these officers were given this morning,” Bradbrook added.
The Metropolitan Police defended their use of force on Twitter, describing their actions as “reasonable and proportionate.
The police also called the protests “an attempt to cause a major disruption.”
The police also said they made 43 arrests on Aug. 31, bringing the total number of arrests since Aug. 23 to 469.
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