Extinction Rebellion activists attempt to shut down London airport

Cheryl Sanders
October 10, 2019

London police dragged away dozens of chanting and singing climate protesters on Thursday who tried to "occupy" an worldwide airport serving the British capital's global financial hub.

Kent Police has confirmed they have sent a "small number of officers" to help with the operation, along with 42 other forces.

The latest protest is against the climate impact of flying and the Government's ongoing support of airport expansion.

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".

An Aer Lingus flight from London City Airport to Dublin was grounded by a climate change protester earlier today.

"We continue to work closely with the Metropolitan Police to ensure the safe operation of the airport, which remains fully open and operational", he said.

The busy transportation hub is the capital of the fifth-largest airport, popular with business travelers, bankers and politicians for short-haul and regional routes.

The father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has joined climate protesters in London, after his son urged the demonstrators to pack up their "hemp-smelling" tents and leave.

Extinction Rebellion spokesman Rupert Read said the group will conduct a non-violent protest in "homage to the style of the Hong Kong democracy protesters".

The flight was due to take off at 9.40am.

Some 18,000 passengers are due to fly on 286 scheduled flights on the day of the protest, according to Reuters.

Extinction Rebellion activists near Downing Street in London on Wednesday.

Protesters glued themselves to the terminal building, occupied a nearby Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station and blocked roads around the airport.

The group said they were protesting plans to expand the airport, which aims to have 6.5 million passengers a year by 2022 compared to the 4.8 million in 2018, and which has said there could be demand for as many as 11 million by 2035.

Those arriving for flights were redirected to a second terminal entrance by security workers and were not allowed to enter the building without showing their boarding cards first.

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