UNITED KINGDOM: Deansgate reopens as four-day Extinction Rebellion protest comes to an end

Ahead the impressive and four-day long protest of XR in Manchester city centre, Netpol warned there might be massive arrests of the XR protesters.

We have been given strong indications Greater Manchester Police is actively preparing for mass arrests of @ExtinctionR activists this weekend (including additional custody space), despite promises to ” facilitate the protest” https://t.co/6E1EsnxYfE

— Netpol (@netpol) August 27, 2019

However, no report of arrests and violent police behaviours were released, now that the protest has ended.

(Manchester Evening News) All roads have been reopened in Manchester city centre after climate change protesters concluded a four-day demonstration. Extinction Rebellion protesters had occupied the busy shopping street of Deansgate since Friday, in a bid to highlight the threat of climate change.

Roads were closed to all cars from St Mary’s Gate to John Dalton Street as hundreds of protesters gathered over the weekend. Greater Manchester Police said the protest passed with ‘minimal disruption’ and no arrests, although some local business owners complained of loss of earnings due to the takeover.

By Monday afternoon, protesters could be seen packing up their tents, and a large boat which read ‘planet before profit’ was towed away from Deansgate.

A short closing ceremony allowed remaining demonstrators to reflect on the weekend’s events, which included gluing themselves to HSBC bank and staging a number of ‘die-ins’ around the city centre.

Protesters stage a ‘die-in’ outside HSBC (Image: ABNM Photography)

A number of protesters could be seen marching away from Deansgate chanting ‘fight for climate justice,’ as they were escorted by police.

It came after GMP issued a stark warning that any further disruption from protesters would be deemed ‘totally unacceptable.’

The force said in a statement that whilst they are used to dealing with protests, Extinction Rebellion presented some ‘unique challenges.’

Protesters take part in ‘closing ceremony’ as demonstration comes to an end (Image: Manchester Evening News)

A GMP spokesperson said: “From Friday 30 August to Monday 2 September 2019 the Extinction Rebellion Protest took place in Manchester city centre.

“GMP, with the support of its agency partners, facilitated the space they occupied over the four day period to ensure the safety of both the Extinction Rebellion protesters, but also that of people living, working and visiting the city.

“The protesters have now left the Deansgate area, and there is no protest activity taking place in the city centre. All roads have now been reopened and further updates can be found on @GMPCityCentre and @OfficialTFGM.

“Whilst GMP is extremely experienced in dealing with large-scale events and protests, this has presented some unique challenges.

Several dozen police intervene after Extinction Rebellion supporters climb on to the roof and drop a banner from cafes in Piccadilly Gardens (Image: Joel Goodman)

“We rigorously planned and prepared for this protest in conjunction with all relevant partners, including Manchester City Council, the local authorities of Greater Manchester, Transport for Greater Manchester, British Transport Police and communities and businesses via Cityco within the city centre.

“We engaged with the protest group in advance so that we could best understand their intentions.

“This enabled us to plan and prepare our response and facilitate a safe protest, resulting in no arrests. 

“Whilst we respect everyone’s right to peaceful protest, we ask that any protestors in Manchester also respect the right of others to go about their daily business with minimal disruption, and to liaise with the local authorities in advance.”