Extinction Rebellion: Flight grounded as activists vow to 'shut down' airport

Cheryl Sanders
October 10, 2019

Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting at the airport to highlight what they claim is the "incompatibility" of the east London airport's planned expansion with meeting the government's legally binding commitment to cut emissions to net-zero by 2050.

Newsnight political editor Nicholas Watt, who was on the flight, tweeted to say that a "smartly dressed man in late middle age" stood up to deliver a lecture on climate change in the aisle, and politely declined to take his seat when asked to by cabin crew.

Stanley Johnson, father of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaks at an Extinction Rebellion panel on climate change in Trafalgar Square, on the third day of ongoing demonstrations in London, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019.

The group said: "The fly-posting was not the work of the local group but demonstrates the real strength of feeling from individuals willing to act autonomously in acts of peaceful civil disobedience in order to raise the alarm on climate breakdown".

London City, favoured by business travellers because of its easy links to the main financial district, said it remains open and operational, with 55 flights having arrived and 58 departed as of 12:15 p.m. People should check the status of their flight before heading to the airport, it said. So the pilot taxied back to gate where plane was met by throng of police.

"And the final irony of the climate protest on our flight".

But one flight to Dublin was delayed when an activist staged an on-board protest as the plane was due to take off.

The protest 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.

Passengers on the CityJet aircraft, operating under a lease arrangement as Aer Lingus Flight 283, left the plane at the request of the captain before being allowed to board again, the spokesman said.

'We can confirm that a number of protesters have arrived at London City Airport.

The Labour leader spoke out after demonstrations in the capital and other parts of the United Kingdom escalated into a three-day Hong Kong-style protest.

Lola Newton, a protester from Edinburgh, told CNN: "I'm here to support the disruption of the things that need to be disrupted to avert climate meltdowns".

Hundreds of young people gathered on September 20 at Prague's Old Town Square and in many other Czech towns joining the worldwide climate change protests launched by the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. "If you are protesting in the other sites, you're acting unlawfully, we will arrest you, I imagine you will go to court and you're very likely to get a criminal record".

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