Extinction Rebellion vandals deface Winston Churchill statue with graffiti calling the World War Two Prime Minister ‘a racist’ and are arrested at London demo

  • World War Two PM’s statue was defaced with the words ‘is a racist’ on its base  
  • XR protesters saw a ‘young kid fleeing from the statue before he was arrested’
  • At the same location earlier this afternoon, police arrested a group of semi-naked XR protesters who chained themselves to railings surrounding Parliament
  •  At least 13 topless women attached themselves to the outside of the Palace of Westminster with bike locks around their necks on Thursday

Extinction Rebellion (XR) vandals today defaced the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square by spray-painting the words ‘is a racist’ on the base of the monument. 

The World War Two Prime Minister’s statue was vandalised again today, months after the monument was defaced twice by Black Lives Matter protesters using the same words in June.     

XR protesters said they saw a ‘young kid’ fleeing from the statue moments before being arrested by police, Guido Fawkes reported. 

The Metropolitan Police confirmed a man had been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage to the statue on Thursday evening. 

The words 'Is a racist' graffitied on to a statue of former British Prime Minster Winston Churchill, outside Parliament, during an Extinction Rebellion demo in London today

The words ‘Is a racist’ graffitied on to a statue of former British Prime Minster Winston Churchill, outside Parliament, during an Extinction Rebellion demo in London today

A man tries to clean off the words 'Is a racist' graffitied on to a statue of former British Prime Minster Winston Churchill, outside Parliament, during an Extinction Rebellion demo in London today

A man tries to clean off the words ‘Is a racist’ graffitied on to a statue of former British Prime Minster Winston Churchill, outside Parliament, during an Extinction Rebellion demo in London today 

Arrest of activists from the Extinction Rebellion climate change group after the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square was vandalised today

Arrest of activists from the Extinction Rebellion climate change group after the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square was vandalised today

At the same location earlier this afternoon, police arrested at least 13 topless female XR protesters, who chained themselves to railings surrounding Parliament with bike locks in a bid to expose what they called the ‘bare truth’ about the climate crisis.  

A group of protesters this evening also chained themselves to a pink boat, daubed with the words ‘Tell The Truth’, just outside Parliament.   

They were part of a larger group from the XR campaign, which have used attention-grabbing techniques to highlight the threat to the planet.

The women chained to the gates wore masks with ‘4C’ written on them, and with words including drought, starvation and wildfires written on their chests to highlight the anticipated consequences of global heating.

To passing MPs, a banner read: ‘Can’t bare the truth?’

Police remove a topless protester after she locked herself to the railings of Parliament during a climate change protest

Police remove a topless protester after she locked herself to the railings of Parliament during a climate change protest

Police detain a topless Extinction Rebellion protester outside Parliament, London, on the last day of demonstrations

Police detain a topless Extinction Rebellion protester outside Parliament, London, on the last day of demonstrations

Sarah Mintram, a teacher who took part in the action, said: ‘Now we’ve got your attention. By neglecting to communicate the consequences of a 4C world – war, famine, drought, displacement – the Government are failing to protect us.’

Officers removed the D-locks from their necks and took the women to police stations in four separate vans as supporters cheered the protesters on from Parliament Square. 

The Met said they have so far arrested 648 people while policing the protests in London since the beginning of the month.

At times, XR has won wider backing from the public as they marched on cities across the UK, including grinding parts of London to a halt in protest.

But one person who is not a fan is Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has described the activists as ‘so-called eco-crusaders turned criminals’, as she pledged to prevent ‘anarchy on our streets’.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also criticised ‘completely unacceptable’ action in which XR protesters blocked the delivery of some of the UK’s major newspapers.

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