A blind paralympian climbed on top of a British Airways plane after another boarded another plane and stopped it taking off. Meanwhile, dozens of climate activists glued themselves onto the front of the departure and arrival gates at the airport.
The airport occupation is part of Extinction Rebellion’s two-week protest to demand greater government action on the climate crisis. The group says extreme weather caused by climate change would lead to crop losses, food crises, social unrest and damage to infrastructure, and people were risking arrest to show “how vulnerable we are”.
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But Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said said the protesters were “utterly irresponsible and completely unreasonable” for their determination to take over and occupy important arterial roads in London for a two-week period She urged them to demonstrate in the pedestrian area of Trafalgar Square, saying: “Protest lawfully or go home.”
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Airport chief says there are no more protesters outside terminal
Robert Sinclair, chief executive of London City Airport, said shortly after 7pm that there were no longer any protesters outside the terminal.
“We continue to work with the Metropolitan Police to ensure that our passengers tonight and tomorrow have a safe and secure service,” he said.
“The airport has remained fully operational throughout the day and has run an almost complete schedule of flights, with just two flights cancelled as a result of the protest activity.
“We want to thank all our passengers today for their patience, and the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police for their support and professionalism. If you are flying from London City Airport this evening or tomorrow, please do check the status of your flight with your airline before travelling to the airport.”
‘We are alerting the British people to the crisis that we’re in’
Extinction Rebellion co-founder Gail Bradbrook says the group is “alerting British people to the crisis we’re in”.
Speaking to PA news agency about the success of the demonstration, she said: “I think the most important thing is that we are alerting the British people to the crisis that we’re in and the threat to all the forms of business-as-usual.
“We’ve had a lot of press here to talk about these issues and that is what our intention is.”
‘Of course Extinction Rebellion is unpopular, they’re forcing us to sacrifice our selfishness’
Extinction Rebellion protesters can make their point, they should just do it without disrupting anything, maybe by drawing a turtle or looking out of the window. Only then can we contemplate giving up a few bad habits, Mark Steel writes.
Police moving in on streets leading to Trafalgar Square
Police are trying to remove protesters locked on at Northumberland Avenue which leads to Trafalgar Square, Extinction Rebellion said.
Met Police says it has “not run out of cell capacity”
The Metropolitan Police says it is very busy but has “not run out of cell capacity”.
Police officers taken away from tackling knife crime or safeguarding children, Met Comissioner says
Met Comissioner Cressida Dick said officers usually dedicated to tackling knife crime or safeguarding children have been called on to police the protests.
“We are already taking people away from keeping people safe in local areas and putting them into central London, particularly, more than in the last five years,” she said.
“We have the skills, the leadership and fantastic officers to continue to do that, but of course it takes its toll.”
Addressing Extinction Rebellion activists, she said: “Protest lawfully or go home. You have caused disruption to many people and caused misery to some people’s lives.
“We have cleared you away again and again, and now secured the sites you really wanted to occupy. You have a place to protest. Go and protest there.”
Arrests soar to 1,000
Police said more than 1,000 people have now been arrested, including around 50 at the airport on Thursday.
Met Comissioner Cressida Dick says protests are ‘reckless’ dangerous and stupid’
Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has branded the actions of a protester who clambered on a plane as “reckless, dangerous and stupid”.
“But I think you can see that is quite a hard thing to predict or stop from happening,” she added. “We will do a full review of the security there, of course we will.
“These protesters have shown they are determined to go where they can, when they can, occupy what they can and disrupt whoever they can, frankly.”
‘Kettled’ octopus spotted in Trafalgar Square
Good news for octopi lovers. After it was “kettled” by police on Wednesday, this pink octopus sculpture has cropped up in Trafalgar Square.
Caroline Lucas: ‘Extinction Rebellion and a Final Say can save our planet’
You don’t have to be a swivel-eyed free-market ideologue to see the temptation of using the chaos of Brexit to ditch environmental protections and regulations, writes Caroline Lucas.
Read more here:
Who are Extinction Rebellion?
So far there have been more than 800 arrests at the Extinction Rebellion protests in London as activists demand urgent government action on the climate crisis. Protests are also taking place in 23 other cities around the world which have seen hundreds of additional arrests.
But who are Extinction Rebellion’s supporters, what are they hoping to achieve and what are their tactics? Read more here:
New York activists block Times Square
Meanwhile in New York, Extinction Rebellion activists are blocking Times Square with some protesters glued on to a boat.
Paralympian protester who climbed on plane has been removed
The paralympian activist who climbed on top of a British Airways plane has now been removed, airport authorities said.
A London City Airport spokesperson said:“We can confirm that a booked passenger that climbed on top of an aircraft at London City Airport has been removed. We are working with all partners to investigate, and ensure the safe and secure continuation of service.
“A number of protesters remain outside the front of the airport terminal and we are working hard with the Metropolitan Police to minimise disruption to passengers.
“As of 12.15PM, there were 55 arrivals and 58 departures.“If you are flying to or from London City today, please check the status of your flight with your airline before travelling to the airport.”
Protesters removed from roof of airport
Two protesters who clambered on to the roof of London City airport have now been taken down by police. They also removed an Extinction Rebellion poster reading “Our fragile planet is dying”.
Dozens arrested at London City airport
Arrests are coming thick and fast at London City airport. Our reporter at the scene, Colin Drury, says he has seen around a dozen people arrested but there could be more.
One is 35-year-old Rosie Gilliam who is currently being held on grass outside the airport. She told The Independent: “The world is being destroyed – direct action is not the only solution.”
Activists wear suits and carry luggage to get past security
Some of the Extinction Rebellion protesters at London City airport have been dressing smartly to evade security checks.
Our reporter at the scene, Colin Drury, spoke to Matt Larsen-Daw who was wearing a suit and wheeling a suitcase when he arrived at the airport early in the morning.
However when officers searched his luggage, they got a suspicion he wasn’t here to fly. “Id packed my sign in there,” he said ruefully. “It was a bit of a giveaway.”
James Brown: ‘They declare a climate emergency and then do nothing about it’
The paralympian who climbed on top of a British Airways filmed himself when he reached the top, saying he was “scared of heights”, occasionally pausing after becoming “dizzy”.
Speaking into a live stream he said his protest was “all about the climate and the ecological crisis – we’re protesting against government inaction on climate and ecological breakdown”
“They declare a climate emergency and then do nothing about it”.
Camera person ‘arrested’
The person who filmed a man climbing on top of a British Airways plane has now been arrested, Extinction Rebellion said.
Protester climbs on top of plane at London City airport
An protester has climbed on to a British Airways plane preparing for take-off, as Extinction Rebellion activists seek to “shut down” London City airport.
Read more here:
‘I just can’t understand how the government have allowed this to happen’
Taxi driver Jason Lempiere said that the Extinction Rebellion protests had disrupted his work in and around the city.
“It’s disturbing everyone’s everyday life; working, travel in and out of the airport. Yeah, have a voice, but not disrupt people’s lives like this.
“There’s a certain limit you go to, and this is disrupting people leaving the airport and coming in, and obviously my work and other people’s work.”
Mr Lempiere said he did not have an opinion on the Extinction Rebellion cause, but that he took issue with the way the demonstrators were taking action.
“I just can’t understand how TfL and the Government have allowed this to happen. Any other country in Europe would have this dispersed and gone,” he said