Members of the climate change action group Extinction Rebellion attempted to spray 1,800 liters of fake blood over the U.K. Treasury building in central London on Thursday morning.
It didn't go so well.
Video of the stunt captured the moment the protesters began to spray the liquid from the top of a decommissioned fire engine towards HM Treasury building close to Downing Street.
However, within seconds the protesters lost control of the hose and the liquid mostly ended up hitting bystanders and collecting in large pools across the street. The protesters said the liquid was simply water with red food dye that can be washed off.
Dressed in funeral attire, the small group of protesters, which included an 83-year-old retired grandfather, a retired GP, an ex-Buddhist teacher, a musician, and an electrician from south London, unfurled a banner that read: “Stop funding climate deaths.”
Protesters accuse the British government of providing subsidies for fossil fuels, financing massive fossil fuels projects overseas and approving airport expansion.
Within minutes of the protest beginning, dozens of police officers arrived and cordoned off the areas. Having removed the protesters from the fire engine, the police arrested four of them on suspicion of criminal damage.
“There needs to be a real wake-up in terms of the money being spent by the government. Decisions being made in this building are going towards a non-future,” Mark Ovland, one of the protesters, told the Guardian. “We’re funding billions in fossil fuel subsidies and carbon-intensive projects, and we just need a rethink otherwise we’re in serious danger.”
The stunt took place days before the group plans a much larger demonstration called International Rebellion when they plan to block 12 areas around central London for several weeks.
The police announced this week that extra officers will be brought into London in order to deal with the predict demonstrations, with forces across England asked to contribute specialist “protest removal teams” for the effort.
Extinction Rebellion, which brought the British capital to a standstill in April, responded by reminding authorities that it is a peaceful movement.
“We appeal to the humanity of the government and authorities to remember that we are non-violent protestors,” the group said in a statement “We appeal to their humanity to remember that we are facing an unprecedented global emergency.”
Cover: Police officers outside the Treasury building in Westminster, where Extinction Rebellion campaigners have sprayed 1,800 litres of fake blood from a fire engine. (Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire Press Association via AP Images)