Tasmin and Melissa embrace after they received a blessing ahead of their wedding day, surrounded by activists from the climate change group Extinction Rebellion, during a demonstration on Westminster Bridge (ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty)
A queer couple staged a wedding ceremony on Westminster Bridge in London, as protesters from Extinction Rebellion shut off transport links in the city.
Activists took a pause from the climate change action to gather for the wedding ceremony of environmental campaigner Tamsin Omond and their partner Melissa on the bridge, which is usually rammed with traffic.
In a clip of the ceremony an officiant tells the crowd: “We are here to witness, to celebrate and affirm the commitment to love made by Tamsin and Melissa at this time in their marriage.
“They give themselves to one another, trusting in the love of God to sustain their own love, promising faithfulness, trust and forgiveness in their life together.”
‘First wedding’ of Extinction Rebellion.
The couple were cheered by the crowd as they exchanged their vows and kissed in the ceremony.
The blessing was only ceremonial, as the bridge is not a licensed wedding venue – with the couple planning a legal wedding at a later date.
The group confirmed on Twitter: “ExtinctionRebellion has its first marriage. In love, and in rage, they stand on Westminster Bridge to be married. ?❤️??#RebelForLife
“We rebel for their future. They rebel for yours. We all encourage each other? ?❤️??❤️??❤️??❤️??”
Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Rupert Read added: “Thanks to #ExtinctionRebellion, this beautiful wedding is happening right now in the middle of Westminster Bridge.
“So happy to witness my friend and longtime comrade Tamsin Omond marrying in this unique way.”
Warm wishes for wedding couple.
The couple received warm wishes from others in the climate movement, with the Green Party’s Jenny Jones sending “congratulations and good wishes from the bottom of my heart”.
London Assembly member Caroline Russell added: “Massive congratulations. xx”
my friend just got married in the middle of the rebellion and if this doesn’t go down in the history books then wtf#ExtinctionRebelion #LoveNotHate #ClimateJusticeNow pic.twitter.com/rYTfSzoSby
— Sam Knights (@samjknights) October 7, 2019
As of Monday, a total of 280 people have been arrested as part of this week’s Extinction Rebellion protests.
London’s Metropolitan Police said: “The Met is aware of a number of planned demonstrations and protests by Extinction Rebellion commencing Monday, 7 October for up to two weeks, expected to take place across a number of central London locations.
“The Met have been preparing for this protest for several weeks now. The policing operation will be proportionate to balance the right to a peaceful protest, while ensuring disruption to communities is kept to a minimum.
“Officers from across the Met will be deployed to support the public order operation, balanced against policing the rest of London.”