'Banksy' artwork appears at Extinction Rebellion site
Suspected Banksy artwork has emerged in central London after the closing ceremony of the Extinction Rebellion protests.
The environmental mural, which has yet to be confirmed as Banksy’s, materialised overnight on a wall in Marble Arch and bears a similar stencilled style used by the unidentified artist.
It shows a child clutching a sign of the Extinction Rebellion emblem while kneeling near a plant shoot sprouting up from the earth.
“From this moment despair ends and tactics begin,” the accompanying words say.
The artwork gained traction from members of the public early on Friday, with many passers by taking photographs and gathering around it.
It is thought to have been created as Extinction Rebellion organisers celebrated the end of 10 days of protesting in the capital at a nearby ceremony held at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.
Extinction Rebellion supporter Calvin Benson, 48, said the artwork “represents the will of the people that were here and the people of the nation”.
When asked how sure he was the painting is one of Banksy’s, he said: “100% it’s a Banksy, it’s already been confirmed by street artists and the whole community knows about this. Most of them had been down here.”
Steve Jones, 53, added that the artwork “just appeared”.
“I returned from an Extinction Rebellion meeting and it was there”, he said.
At the closing event, Skeena Rathor, a coordinator for the group, invited the eco-protesters to “begin a process of reflection” after the demonstrations, which disrupted hundreds of thousands of commuters.
“Thank you for what you have done this week. It is enormous. It is beyond words”, she said.
Activists have glued themselves to the London Stock Exchange and climbed onto the roof of a train in Canary Wharf as part of their final wave of climate change protests.
Organisers said demonstrators were targeting the financial sector on the last day of protests “to demand they tell the truth about the devastating impact the industry has on our planet”.
Eco-protesters want urgent action to halt climate change and to stop the decline in biodiversity, and have called on the government to reduce UK carbon emissions to net zero by 2025.
More than 1,000 people were arrested during protests which started on 15 April, while more than 10,000 police officers were deployed.