Two Greenpeace activists have climbed Nelson’s Column (52m) in order to fit a gas mask to the statue at the top as part of a city-wide protest over air pollution. The protesters have altogether managed to get masks on 15 statues across the city, including Nelson’s Column, the Oliver Cromwell statue at Parliament (where they breached security) and Thierry Henry’s statue at the Emirates Stadium. Nearly 10,000 people die from air pollution in London every year, figures that have resulted in the organisation calling for an expanded clean air zone. The current plan for an ultra low emissions zone comes into effect in 2020, but only offers protection for those in zone one.
Eight people have so far been arrested, including Alison Garrigan and Luke Jones – the two that managed to scale the 52 metre monument just after dawn this morning. Garrigan was also one of the six women that climbed the Shard in 2013 during a Greenpeace protest. She has also admitted to being “petrified of heights”…
Asked about the burden the stunt placed on emergency services, she said: “I understand that some people might be frustrated by it. But we are highly trained, what we’re doing isn’t dangerous. This is about the air we’re all breathing. In London the levels are both illegal and dangerous”.
Featured Image Credit: Timeout