The artist Gavin Turk was among 82 people arrested during climate change protests in London on Saturday (17 November) which saw five bridges in the capital occupied by protesters in a mass act of civil disobedience.

The action was organised by the group Extinction Rebellion which is demanding that the UK government takes action on climate change.

The Guardian reports that Turk, who came to prominence in the 1990s as part of the generation dubbed Young British Artists, was arrested along with others for the obstruction of a public highway on Lambeth Bridge. He was held for several hours and released later the same day.

Speaking about his involvement in the protests and subsequent arrest, Turk told the Guardian he felt “taking part was a way of putting my name down and doing something for the environment” and that it had been an “incredibly peaceful demonstration”.

He added: “I hope this kind of action has caught the public imagination. It is the new future.”

The five bridges occupied during the protests were Waterloo, Westminster, Lambeth, Southwark and Blackfriars.

Extinction Rebellion has organised other protests in the lead up to the bridges action. Earlier this month 22 people were arrested when the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy was targeted, with protesters supergluing themselves to card-entry gates.

Among the group’s demands on climate change is that carbon emissions should be reduced to zero by 2025 by the government enacting “legally-binding policies”.

Extinction Rebellion is also calling for the setting up of a Citizens Assembly to oversee the changes made to government policy and to ensure that effective action is taken.

Gavin Turk. Courtesy: Skip Gallery

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