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East London protesters arrested after daubing ‘clean air’ paint messages on City Hall

PUBLISHED: 18:55 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 18:55 19 March 2018

Clean air spray-paint protersters clash with City Hall security staff. Picture: Fay Buzzard

Clean air spray-paint protersters clash with City Hall security staff. Picture: Fay Buzzard

Fay Buzzard

Protesters have been arrested today after spraying slogans on City Hall in a campaign for clean air that was launched at Tower Bridge last year.

Grounded... clean air campaigner caught in City Hall spray-paint protest. Picture: Fay BuzzardGrounded... clean air campaigner caught in City Hall spray-paint protest. Picture: Fay Buzzard

The “clean air defenders” dressed in black and white striped suits were confronted by security staff when they spray-painted ‘air pollution is criminal’ messages and calling for City Hall action to reduce pollution.

Six of the ‘Stop Killing Londoners’ group were arrested for criminal damage and held in custody by police.

The group, which has twice blocked rush-hour traffic on Tower Bridge including a disco protest last month, carried a 30ft high ‘smog cloud’ banner this time designed to cast a shadow on the City Hall itself.

Police move in to arrest anti-pollution demonstrators outside City Hall. Picture: Fay BuzzardPolice move in to arrest anti-pollution demonstrators outside City Hall. Picture: Fay Buzzard

“We are prepared to go to prison until London’s air is cleaned up,” the group spokesman told the East London Advertiser.

“This is the first action that will escalate through the week to send a message to the mayor that we need urgent action on air pollution.”

The protesters are calling on the Mayor of London to talk to the coalition of community groups from east London and elsewhere.

30ft-high 'smog cloud' banner protesters used to 30ft-high 'smog cloud' banner protesters used to "cast a shadow" over City Hall. Picture: Fay Buzzard

One protester, a woman of 71, said: “I don’t want to go to prison, but I will if that is what it takes for our politicians to sit up and take action. We continue living with illegal levels of air pollution that threatens our health and the environment.”

Their demands include bringing City Hall’s proposed ‘Ultra Low’ emissions zone stretching out to the North Circular and South Circular roads brought forward a year instead of waiting till 2021.

This would lead to central London effectively becoming totally ‘emission free’ by 2025 and the whole of Greater London by 2030.

Demonstrators picket City Hall over London air pollution. Picture: Fay BuzzardDemonstrators picket City Hall over London air pollution. Picture: Fay Buzzard

Tower Hamlets Council started a campaign last week urging parents to switch of their idling car engines outside schools when picking up their children.

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