July 16, 2019 / 7:07 AM / 2 months ago

CORRECTED-Climate activists arrested for disrupting London's biggest concrete supplier

(Corrects to show that London Concrete does not supply the Silvertown project after Extinction Rebellion corrects press release. Adds statement from the group and the company.)

LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) - Six climate activists were arrested on Tuesday after the Extinction Rebellion group disrupted London Concrete, the British capital’s biggest supplier of ready-mixed concrete.

Dozens of activists holding a banner saying “The air that we grieve” blocked entrances to the site in east London.

“Concrete has a huge environmental impact,” said Eleanor McAree, 25, from Extinction Rebellion. “Air pollution is already at dangerous levels and is affecting the health of children and adults in the area.”

Police said the protest had prevented companies in the area from going about their business and officers had arrested six people aged between 30 and 67 on suspicion of aggravated trespassing and obstruction of a highway.

The activists had since left the area, police added.

London Concrete is a unit of Franco-Swiss group LafargeHolcim. Extinction Rebellion initially said the company supplies a major road tunnel project under the River Thames known as the Silvertown Tunnel, but later corrected that statement to say the company does not.

“We incorrectly included a reference in our original press release that London Concrete is a confirmed supplier of the Silvertown Tunnel construction. We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” Extinction Rebellion said.

A spokesman for the company said it does not supply the project.

Extinction Rebellion wants non-violent civil disobedience to force governments to cut carbon emissions and avert a climate crisis it says will bring starvation and social collapse.

On Monday it sought to sow chaos in five British cities as part of what it says is a “summer uprising”.

“We absolutely recognise the right for people to protest however we will continue to take action against those who choose to break the law, to ensure disruption to Londoners is kept to a minimum,” Commander Jane Connors said.

“We are aware that protesters are expected to target the construction industry this week. We are engaging with business across the capital.”

Extinction Rebellion activists disrupted London with 11 days of protests in April that it cast as the biggest act of civil disobedience in recent British history. Iconic locations were blocked, the Shell building defaced, trains stopped and Goldman Sachs targeted. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden)

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