British Museum ‘evacuated’ after protesters block entrance to London landmark

The British Museum was  evacuated today after activists joined forces to block entry to the historic building. It comes as climate protesters and pro-Palestine activists united this afternoon to block entry in the building.

A new alliance called Energy Embargo for Palestine targeted the British Museum, on Russell Street, at around 2.15pm. The museum has closed both entrances, with people inside the museum evacuated.

Protestors stood at the museum’s main entrance and held up a banner which read: “‘Sponsored by BP = sponsored by colonial genocide.” As well as that, Palestine flags were waved as demonstrators called out “shut down BP’ and “if you partner with BP, we’ll shut you down. “The group had initially planned to hold a sit-in at the main courtyard of the museum, according to posts on the encrypted app Signal. However, the activists didn’t make it to the lobby, instead deciding to protest outside the entrance.

The British Museum has been targeted due to its sponsorship with British Petroleum (BP.) A briefing note sent to participants urged those taking part to provide no comment to the police, and not to provide any personal details. As well as that, it tells protestors not to accept a duty solicitor if arrested.

The note says: “We are returning to the British Museum to take action against their new 10-year contract with mega-conglomerate British Petroleum, which was granted licenses for gas exploration off the coast of Gaza by the Zionist entity on October 30th. “We will be occupying the main courtyard and have teach-outs/speeches. We are aiming to occupy the space for at least 2.5 hours, preferably longer, as staying past closing time will provide an extra element of disruption.

The note also encourages protestors to wear masks “throughout the action” and that while they don’t expect arrests, “they may never know how the police respond.”

The Metropolitan Police and the British Museum were made aware of the planned protest. This isn’t the first time the British Museum has been targeted. On February 11, Energy Embargo carried out at protest, calling for museum executives to “drop BP now.”

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