London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has mocked the Extinction Rebellion protesters, who were demanding action on climate change, on the streets of London, and termed them “uncooperative crusties”, it was reported on Tuesday.
Speaking at a book launch, Johnson said on Monday night: “I am afraid that the security people didn’t want me to come along tonight because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters of all kinds littering the road.
“They said there was some risk that I would be egged,” the BBC reported.
Johnson added that the protesters could learn from late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who he said had taken the issue of greenhouse gases seriously long before activists such as Sweden’s Greta Thunberg were born.
“I hope that when we go out from this place tonight and we are waylaid by importunate nose-ringed climate change protesters, we remind them that she was also right about greenhouse gases.”
Extinction Rebellion activists were protesting in cities around the world, including New York, Berlin, Amsterdam and Sydney.
The Metropolitan Police said there have been 319 arrests in relation to the demonstrations since 12 a.m. on Tuesday, reports the BBC.
Some 200 campaigners who camped overnight on streets in central London also faced arrest on Tuesday morning after being issued with warnings by police.
Activists who blocked Horseferry Road in Westminster, throughout the night were warned that they will be arrested unless they move to nearby Trafalgar Square.
But many said they were prepared to stay in the camp.
The protests were calling for urgent action on global climate and wildlife emergencies.
Further road closures were expected on Tuesday, with Parliament Street, Great Smith Street and Westminster and Lambeth bridges predicted to be heavily affected.
Extinction Rebellion claims protests in the capital will be five times bigger than similar events in April, which saw more than 1,100 people were arrested.