A pair of demonstrators from Extinction Rebellion (XR) Kingston chained themselves together as they helped protestors occupy Westminster Bridge on Monday (October 7).

Charlotte and Chris from Kingston XR joined other members of the group on Westminster Bridge on Monday at the start of Extinction Rebellion's two-week 'International Rebellion'.

Civil disobedience and occupations demanding climate justice and emergency measures to alleviate the climate crisis are currently taking place in cities around the world.

In London, Westminster Bridge was one of 12 sites peacefully occupied by the protestors including Charlotte and Chris, who came from Kingston to take part.

When police officers moved in on Monday afternoon and told the demonstrators they would be arrested if they remained in place on the bridge, Chris produced a D-lock from his backpack.

"We were in a group with Camden (XR) to secure the North side of the bridge.

"We held the bridge, and Charlotte and I spent about four hours back to back with a D-lock around our necks after the police said they would soon start arresting people.

"It was pretty uncomfortable but realistically in comparison to what we're already facing and what people are going through in other parts of the world it's nothing really," Chris said.

He and Charlotte managed to frustrate police in their attempts to arrest and remove protestors throughout the afternoon, before they moved to a different occupation site after eight hours on the bridge on Monday.

Chris is a Kingstonian who has studied ecology and engineering in various forms since he was 18.

He founded the Kingston branch of XR after joining in with some of the group's first actions last November.

After the government decided to cut subsidies for new renewable energy projects in 2017, his work prospects collapsed soon after he completed an engineering degree in renewable energy.

Your Local Guardian: Image via Kingston XRImage via Kingston XR

He subsequently decided to work fulltime for Extinction Rebellion as a volunteer.

"I'm poorer now so it's a bit of a struggle but I'm a scientist and an engineer so I can use those skills," he said.

Charlotte meanwhile said she was uncomfortable throughout and pointed out her reasons for putting herseld through the experience. 

"It was uncomfortable and I knew there was a risk of arrest. As a self-employed person, I’m also losing money by being at the protests over the next two weeks.

"But the climate and biodiversity crises worry me so much I’m prepared to make sacrifices. Lobbying and other tactics haven’t worked and now it’s urgent.

"It’s easy to stick your head in the sand and tell yourself it’s not that bad, or someone else will deal with it. But I know what the science says so inaction isn’t an option for me," she said. 

Extinction Rebellion Kingston said that at least one of their number had been arrested after taking part in the civil disobedience measures on Monday.

Around 4pm on Tuesday, the Met Police said that they had arrested 471 people since Monday in connection to the protests.