Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Masks for London Statues

A breathing mask is fixed to a statue of Oliver Cromwell in London on April 18, 2016. AFP photo.

A gas mask over the face of Lord Nelson. Image credit:

Winston Churchill too was targeted. Image credit:

British environmental activists scaled landmark statues in London and strapped gas masks to their faces on April 18, 2016 – including the one of Horatio Nelson on Trafalgar Square to draw attention to the problem of air pollution.
Two Greenpeace campaigners, Alison Garrigan, 29, and Luke Jones, 30, had scaled the 52-metre (171-foot) high Nelson’s Column to put a mask on the famous naval commander. Masks were put on 17 statues, including Queen Victoria near Buckingham Palace, Eros at Piccadilly Circus, Oliver Cromwell and Winston Churchill, both outside parliament.
London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed eight arrests.
A parliament spokeswoman confirmed there had been “a minor security incident on the parliamentary estate” which was being dealt with by the police.
Greenpeace said it aimed to highlight the health risks caused by the city’s poor air quality.
“Monitoring shows that, if these statues were real people, many of them would often be breathing dangerous, illegal air,” campaigner Areeba Hamid said. “That’s why we’ve given them face masks. Of course many millions of Londoners, including kids, are breathing that same air,” he said.
London has some of the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide in Europe and Britain has been ordered to reduce pollution by the European Commission. And according to King’s College London’s calculations, nearly 10,000 Londoners die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution.
On Sunday, Celtic stretched their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to nine points despite a dreary 1-1 draw against Ross County.
Leigh Griffiths' goal in the twenty-third minute put the champions ahead. But Stewart Murdoch's 64th-minute strike from the edge of the box gave The Staggies the deserved point.

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