Extinction Rebellion climate change protesters are being joined in their fight to shut down central London for two weeks by celebrities including Mark Rylance, Ruby Wax, Daisy Lowe, Juliet Stevenson and Chris Packham.
The protesters, who are calling on the world’s governments to combat climate change, have managed to close Lambeth and Westminster bridges to traffic, and famous supporters are expected to make speeches to those congregated in Trafalgar Square later today.
Wolf Hall star Sir Mark Rylance is one of the celebrity supporters who Extinction Rebellion listed as having joined their London demonstration, with the actor having had previous success in getting the Royal Shakespeare Company to end their partnership with BP earlier this year.
He resigned as an associate artist after 30 years with the RSC over his principles, encouraging them to end their sponsorship deal with the oil company, and on Monday spoke to fellow protesters including reading a poem.
Environmentalist and Autumnwatch presenter Chris Packham also joined the throng, encouraging others to come and join him in making their voices heard against devastating climate change.
In London . . . @ExtinctionR @RebelsAnimal . . . the world needs to change and we need to speed the process up in a peaceful non-violent way #ClimateEmergency please try to come along and offer support - no need to get arrested ! pic.twitter.com/pACVbk6znN— Chris Packham (@ChrisGPackham) October 7, 2019
Also in the crowd of protesters were actor Juliet Stevenson and TV star Ruby Wax, who proudly posted a selfie from Westminster Bridge, telling Twitter followers: “Unless you care, nothing happens.”
Truly Madly Deeply star Stevenson told the Press Association from the protest: "It's a very wonderful action today. We can't any longer allow governments to do this so we have to make it clear that there is no more time.
"There's a long tradition in this country of people saying governments are not acting, we have to make them realise how urgent this is.
"I'm optimistic about the energy there is amongst people to act but I'm not hugely optimistic about government stepping up to the plate.
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"They're [the government] talking about 2050 and scientists have said we have 12 years before we're in a place where the climate is irreversibly damaging our planet and we won't be able to repair or fix it. We need to make them realise that time is not on our side at the moment."
More famous faces are expected to join the protests over the coming days and at the weekend model Daisy Lowe, who was also pictured at the protest on Monday, hosted an Extinction Rebellion dinner for friends, with sympathetic guests including Mel B.
Spice Girl Mel B backed the disruption, saying: “I was born a fighter, I stood proud as a mixed race woman and championed girl power.
“I fight for victims of abuse and I'm giving all my support to these brave activists to make a better world for us all.”
Stars who have previously voiced their support for Extinction Rebellion include Dame Emma Thompson, Olivia Colman, Stephen Fry, Alan Carr, Charlotte Church, and authors Philip Pullman and Margaret Atwood, with Thompson rallying the crowd at a previous London demonstration in April.
So far, there have been 148 arrests reported from the London protest, with other coordinated protests taking place across the globe in Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand.