James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Extinction Rebellion protesters halt flights out of City Airport
10 October 2019, 10:57
Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion protesters brought chaos to London's City Airport today.
In extraordinary scenes, one man perched himself on the top of a British Airways plane. In another incident, a smartly-dressed protester stood up in the cabin of a plane and refused to budge, causing it to return to the terminal.
The protester on the roof of a plane, apparently clambered up there during boarding. Extinction Rebellion identified him as former Paralympian James Brown, a visually impaired athlete who took Bronze for Ireland in the cycling time trial at the London 2012 Olympics.
The other individual was filmed making a stand about the environment on board the plane in front of disgruntled passengers.
Earlier, protesters clashed with police at the entrance to the airport with one individual climbing on the roof of the terminal.
In the on-board video posted on social media, a passenger can be heard shouting to the protester, "How long are you going to be?"
A stewardess tries to speak to the protester who can be calmly heard saying, "I'm very sorry, there is a protest going on today."
The protester then continues: "We have two generations of human civilisation left if we carry on doing what we're doing."
He can be heard saying: "I don't wish to travel with you but I don't wish to get off."
One passenger shouts "Get him off the plane".
Hundreds of other Extinction Rebellion activists caused chaos at the airport by blocking the main entrance for passengers.
But despite the action at London City Airport, which included some people gluing themselves to the floor, flights appeared to be largely unaffected.
The activists are attempting a three-day "Hong Kong-style occupation of the terminal building".
This is to highlight what they claim is the "incompatibility" of the east London airport's planned £2 billion expansion with meeting the Government's legally binding commitment to go net carbon neutral by 2050.
Police were forced to make several arrests whilst the group sat and chanted "Fly today, gone tomorrow" in unison, as members of the public struggled to get past them with their suitcases.
Passengers arriving for flights were redirected to a second terminal entrance by security workers.
A spokesman for the airport said: "We can confirm that a number of protesters have arrived at London City Airport.
"We continue to work closely with the Metropolitan Police to ensure the safe operation of the airport, which remains fully open and operational.
"As of 9.15am, there have been over 60 flights which have either arrived or departed."
This morning a protester even climbed onto the roof at London City Airport.
In the above video he can be heard shouting: “Shut this airport down!”
Police watch him whilst protesters cheer him on, shouting: "Extinction Rebellion!"
The sit-in at the airport comes on the fourth day of the Extinction Rebellion climate change protests, which are taking place across central London and other major cities worldwide.
At Trafalgar Square, tents, banners with messages such as "This is change" and a hearse still blocked the roads, and a protest camp occupied the pedestrian area of the square.
More protesters were camped with dozens of tents in nearby St James's Park.
They were joined by Benedict Cumberbatch and Simon Amstell, while electronic music duo Disclosure played a set.