Saturday 24 August 2019

Easter weekend traffic chaos feared as climate change protesters target Dublin

PROTEST: Thousands march in Dublin. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
PROTEST: Thousands march in Dublin. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

COMMUTERS face traffic chaos in Dublin city centre on Good Friday as climate change protesters plan to take over O’Connell Bridge.

Extinction Rebellion activists – who grabbed headlines for staging a naked protest in the Houses of Parliament – caused significant disruption in London city centre on Tuesday. They plan to take over the Tube network on Wednesday.

But the demonstrators are planning a ‘no move march’ and sit down on O’Connell Bridge at lunchtime on Friday.

The timing of the protest will coincide with the significant numbers of people who plan to leave Dublin for the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Police in London said there were over 290 arrests in two days as a result of the climate change protests.

Spokesperson for the group Ciaran O’Carroll told independent.ie that on Tuesday evening they had members “locked onto a structure” on Oxford Circus for several hours, causing traffic chaos.

“The reaction has been surprisingly positive in a way I haven’t seen before at a protest,” he said. “There seems to be a shift in perspective. It is more mixed from drivers – some people understand, others less so.”

And Mr O’Carroll, who was born in Glasgow to Irish parents, said that although the next immediate plan after the Tube disruption was for “swarming tactics in London” which included roving road blocks, they have their sites set on Dublin.

“We will gather at Spire at 1pm and will have a very slow march over O’Connell Bridge,” he told independent.ie. “We will take the march down to a ‘no move march’, we will stay on O’Connell Bridge for as long as it takes to get a response from the government.

“We won’t be blocking the Luas or emergency vehicles but it will be blocked to road traffic,” he added.

“We have people prepared to stay there for as long as it takes.”

Mr O’Carroll said that according to their Facebook page, 500 people have committed to attend and a further 2,000 were interested in attending.

“We have seen a huge spike in interest following the events in London,” he said.

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