Arrests made at Bow Extinction Rebellion protest
PUBLISHED: 14:15 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:09 16 July 2019
Six people have been arrested at an Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest at an industrial yard between Bow and Stratford.
Three men and three women, aged between 30 and 67, were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespassing and obstruction of a highway.
The demonstrators were opposing a proposed concrete batching plant nearby and the £1billion Silvertown Tunnel set to open in 2025.
They were planning to block the entrance to London Concrete, Wick Lane, Bow for the whole day, as well as the entrance to an industrial site in Marshagte Lane, but the XR spokeswoman said around 50 officers cleared them between 10.30 and 11am.
She added that while the police did have to carry the protesters away from the entrance, she did not believe they had used excessive force.
Eleanor McAree, 25, is a member of Tower Hamlets Extinction Rebellion and was at the protest.
"Concrete has a huge environmental impact and building another tunnel will only make air pollution across east London worse," she said.
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"The air pollution is already at dangerous levels and is affecting the health of children and adults in the area.
"With the siting of this industry right next to two schools, these children face lifelong negative impact on their health."
Extinction Rebellion is holding protests across the UK all this week in its campaign for more political action to combat climate change.
The Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said they had enough officers to police the action and respected people's right to protest, but added they wouldn't tolerate behaviour that crosses into criminality or that causes significant disruption.
The proposed concrete plant at Marshgate Lane, Bow East, has already come under fire from nearby school the Bobby Moore Academy, which is about 250 metres away at its closest point.
As well as the dust and emissions from the mill, the executive head of the academy, Dr Lawrence Foley, is concerned about the number of HGVs driving so close to students.
In the current proposals, there would be 520 HGV movements at the site every day, though the joint venture behind the plan said that's down from the current number of 800.
The Bow East joint venture has previously said that the proposal is "smaller, cleaner and smarter" than current activities.
"Rail freight produces 76per cent lower emissions than road transport, so using Bow East actually helps to reduce overall emissions from construction traffic, in line with government targets."