Police Finally Began Making Mass Arrests On Monday Evening After London s West End Was Paralysed For Hours By

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Police finally began making mass arrests on Monday evening after London's West End was paralysed for hours by protesters who had erected a giant pink table in the middle of the road.
Officers moved in after demonstrators ignored repeated demands - made by loudspeaker - for them to leave the area. 
Until they began making mass arrests at 8pm, the Metropolitan police had detained just eight people, despite the fact that the protest began at midday today.  By 10.15pm on Monday, the police said the the number of arrests had increased to 52. 
Officers responded after protesters erected a huge piece of pink furniture - which had the words 'Change is Now' and 'Come to the table' written on it - on the junction of Long Acre, St Martins Lane and Garrick Street. 
It forced police to close off several roads around the area which would normally be thronged with tourists and families sightseeing. 
Several protesters were seen being carried into police vans as crowds chanted 'shame on you.' A small crowd was continuing to remain under the giant table, which was put up near Leicester Square tube station.  Officers have said that they will be confiscating the table when the protesters are finally cleared.  
The group blindsided officers by converging on Trafalgar Square this morning to begin two weeks of what they described as 'impossible rebellion'.
The group further outsmarted officers by driving vans on two streets surrounding the Long Acre junction, before activists locked chained themselves together while lying under the vehicles' wheels.
The Met had previously promised to take a harsher approach after previous Extinction Rebellion demonstrations paralysed the capital. 
Officers tried to bring today's protest to an end by putting in place a cordon which allowed people to leave the area but not to return to it. 
However, this resulted in the area being occupied almost entirely by protesters, forcing the police to move some of their cordons.  
Shop owners, restaurateurs and accountants have been among those to slam the selfish actions of XR activists today as they shared their fury at facing further obstacles on the road to recovery after an already challenging 18-month period. 
Mustafa Ahmadi, 37, who runs Star Gifts near to Leicester Square tube station, fears he could lose as much as £10,000 by the end of the week because of the climate change demo.
His gift shop is close to where thousands of XR protesters have set up a giant pink table and occupied a busy road junction in between Leicester Square and Covent Garden. 
Mr Ahmadi described the protest as 'another kick in the teeth' for local businesses and warned the financial impact could be akin to another lockdown.   
He said: 'It's like another lockdown because the shop is so quiet.

It's not just me but other businesses around here.
'The police have many of the roads locked off and so the tourists and families who we would normally see are being kept out.
'It's another kick in the teeth.
I could lose £10,000 if this carries on to the end of the week.  
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Police finally began making mass arrests on Monday evening after London's West End was paralysed for hours by Extinction Rebellion protesters who had erected a giant pink table in the middle of the road
Officers moved in after demonstrators ignored repeated demands - made by loudspeaker - for them to leave the area
Until they began making mass arrests at 8pm, the Metropolitan police had detained just eight people, despite the fact that the protest began at midday today.

Above: Police remove a demonstrator from the Long Acre and Upper St Martin's Lane junction 
Several protesters were seen being carried into police vans as crowds chanted 'shame on you'
Police make arrests at the Extinction Rebellion protest on the junction of Long Acre, St Martins Lane and Garrick Street
Officers responded after protesters erected a huge piece of pink furniture - which had the words 'Change is Now' written on it - on the junction of Long Acre, St Martins Lane and Garrick Street 
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Thousands swarmed onto a busy road junction between Leicester Square and Covent Garden, which has now become the focal point for the XR's two-week long climate change protest.
Commenting on the table stunt, a spokesperson said that four activists 'emerged from the truck that carried the huge object into the square and climbed onto the table'.
The group say they are now 'preparing to stay for the long haul and occupy the square'.
The spokesperson added: 'The table launched XR's Impossible Rebellion, bringing the seemingly impossible to life in outlandish Extinction Rebellion style.
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