Activists from environmental pressure group Greenpeace are scaling key monuments across London to place over-sized surgical masks on them to protect them from pollution in the air. Police, ambulance and fire crews attended the various scenes and cordoned off areas around the famous monuments. A number of arrests have been made, with more expected during the day at more monuments are targeted.
One of the first monuments to be protected was Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, together with Eros in Piccadilly Circus and the Oliver Cromwell statue near the House of Commons. Also being targeted were statues of Winston Churchill (near the House of Commons), Sherlock Holmes (Baker Street) and Thierry Henri (Emirates Stadium).
Greenpeace mounted the protests to draw public attention to air pollution in London, which it says is causing the premature deaths of 40,000 people each year. They are calling for the Government to give a much greater emphasis to public transport to improve the situation. With the election for London Mayor just three weeks away, the Greenpeace stunt puts pressure on the candidates to declare where they stand on this important subject.
•To read Greenpeace’s five point plan to tackle air pollution and/or to add your name to their demand for action, go to: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/its-time-david-cameron-stop-hiding-smog-20160401