Eight members of Greenpeace were arrested Monday for brazenly strapping gas masks on more than 15 of London’s most venerated statues in protest of the capital’s poor air quality.
Greenpeace activists say they attached gas masks on several statues all over London, including those of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Queen Victoria standing in front of Buckingham Palace.
“Monitoring shows that if these statutes were real people, many of them would often be breathing dangerous, illegal air,” Greenpeace said in a press statement on Monday.
“London children are being forced to breathe illegal, dangerous air,” Areeba Hamid, Greenpeace’s clean air campaign manager, said in the statement.
Two of the activists were arrested after scaling Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square, a nearly 200 foot-high statue praising the British military hero Admiral Horatio Nelson. The police say the protesters were apprehended on suspicion of criminal damage.
The UK has seen a slight uptick in environmental terrorist-type demonstrations since the beginning of 2016.
An environmental group, nicknamed the “Heathrow 13” by the media, was given a 12-month suspended sentence in February for tethering themselves to barriers at Britain’s Heathrow Airport.
The decision means the group will only receive a prison sentence if they violate the law one more time over the course of a year.
Six men and seven women, one of whom dawned a polar bear outfit were found guilty in January of trespassing and entering the security-restricted area surrounding the airport.
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