Extinction Rebellion activist climbs Big Ben scaffolding

Videos shared on social media showed the protester unfurling banners reading “No pride on a dead planet” and “Citizens’ Assembly” once on top of the scaffolding.

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The man was reportedly wearing a costume and a blond wig resembling Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s distinctive hairstyle.

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“Tree surgeon Ben Atkinson, 43, has begun a free solo climb of Big Ben and will drop an Extinction Rebellion banner to highlight Government inaction on the Climate and Ecological Emergency,” the group said in a statement.

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London’s Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called at 15:33hrs on Friday, 18 October to reports of a man climbing up scaffolding surrounding Big Ben. Officers remain on scene.”

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The activist group has defied a London-wide public order ban issued on Monday by staging protests outside Downing Street and blocking the busy Oxford Circus intersection with a wooden pyramid.

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The Metropolitan Police said the crackdown was intended to prevent “ongoing serious disruption to the community.”

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Extinction Rebellion decried the ban as an “erosion of democracy” and called for greater attention on the climate crisis.

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On Thursday, London commuters dragged Extinction Rebellion protesters off the top of a subway train as clashes broke out between passengers and activists.

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