Extinction Rebellion will begin a travelling protest featuring a samba band, speeches and banshees in Woolwich on Bank Holiday Monday to protest against London mayor Sadiq Khan’s £1.2 billion Silvertown Tunnel project.
The environmental protest group says it wants to make it “politically difficult” for Khan to carry on with the project, which will see a new dual carriageway linking the Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks. Opponents say it will fail to relieve congestion at the Blackwall Tunnel and that it will simply bring more congestion and pollution to communities on both sides of the Thames.
Last month three Extinction Rebellion members were arrested after locking themselves to a drilling rig in the Thames which is being used by tunnel contractors.
The group is promising a “visually and audibly arresting spectacle” from 11am in General Gordon Square, and will move to the Olympic Park in Stratford, where Transport for London has offices. It will include activists dressed as banshees who will “wail to mourn the current and future victims that will die each day in London as a result of air pollution which TfL have said will increase locally with the Silvertown Tunnel”.
Earlier this month Khan said that the coronavirus pandemic had highlighted the need for the tunnel, claiming that “congestion has continued at Blackwall Tunnel throughout the crisis”.
Lachlan Leeming is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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