POLICE seized a boat named after teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg during protests yesterday.

Members of Extinction Rebellion had pushed the vessel, which was mounted on to wheels, more than 50 miles from Brighton to London.

But the 20ft-long boat was taken by police in Kennington Park Road yesterday.

Named The Lightship Greta, the boat had a red hull with the message “sound the alarm, climate emergency’ printed on the side.

A spokesman for the Met Police confirmed that “the ‘Lightship Greta’ boat has been seized and taken away by officers”.

Activists started their week-long journey to the capital late last month, aiming to arrive in time to join the planned September rebellion.

This event, which began at the start of the month, has seen large numbers take to the city’s streets to demand government action to tackle the climate crisis.

In a series of daily actions, protesters have marched on Parliament Square, blocked roads, staged sit-ins and glued themselves to the ground.

It led the Metropolitan Police to impose conditions on where demonstrations could take place, while protesters were also warned they risked a large fine if they failed to comply with coronavirus rules banning gatherings of more than 30 people.


Scotland Yard also said on Saturday that 20 people had been reported for consideration of a £10,000 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for holding regulation-breaching gatherings representing a range of different causes.

Police said the FPN reports related to demonstrations called “Resist the Government”, “Move One Million”, “The Ivory Coast Protest”, “Citizens’ Assembly Extinction Rebellion” and “The Lightship Greta procession”.

The Argus:

One penalty report relates to an anti-Government demonstration which took place in Trafalgar Square on August 30, the Met said.

Commander Kyle Gordon, Gold Commander for the weekend’s policing operation, said protests had caused “serious disruption to local communities” in the past week.

He added: “Throughout this period we have become increasingly concerned the organisers of these events have not always taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of coronavirus, thereby posing a risk, not only to those involved, but the wider public and communities of London.

The Argus:

“We remain in the middle of a pandemic and we all need to play our part in keeping each other and our communities safe.”

He said officers sought to enforce coronavirus legislation “as a last resort” and had proactively told event organisers of their “public health risk”.

Mr Gordon added: “I would appeal to anyone planning on organising a gathering to consider your responsibilities under the regulations, and to do all you can to help keep our communities safe.”

On Saturday afternoon, an XR “Citizens Assemble” gathering was dispersed by police in Trafalgar Square.

During the peaceful protest outside the National Gallery, activists sat on the ground and listened to speeches while surrounded by a large police presence.

Officers asked the group to move on, with most dispersing by around 2.30pm.

The Argus:

Some that refused to leave the area were carried or led away by police, including one man in handcuffs.

Darcy Mitchell, 45, from Bristol, told the PA news agency: “I’m here because scientists tell us that my children are going to see between three and five degrees of global warning in their lifetime.”

He warned this could lead to “mass starvation”, while young people were seeing the world “burning their future”.

Another 68-year-old protester, who only gave her name as Wendy, said she was concerned that “the planet is dying and we’re helping it to die”.

She said police had been “courteous”, but she was prepared to be arrested.

The Argus:

A 32-year-old protester, who asked to be identified as just Jason, claimed the Government was “completely ignoring” climate change.

“It’s not something that can wait any more. This whole thing is people power,” he said.

“I’m willing to be arrested, I’m willing to stand up for my rights and stand up for what I believe in.”

Jason said “99 per cent” of protesters were wearing masks and trying to social distance.