Climate activist climbs on top of plane during London airport protests

Extinction Rebellion has been active all over the UK as part of their week of action, which has resulted in roads being closed to the House of Parliament and other notable landmarks.

By
October 11, 2019 04:32
2 minute read.
Climate activist climbs on top of plane during London airport protests

The G-EUPH British Airways Airbus A319-131 makes its final approach for landing at Toulouse-Blagnac airport, France. (photo credit: REUTERS)

An environmental activist climbed on top of a British Airways aircraft on a London City Airport runway Thursday as part of a series of protests at the site.

Videos showed the activist, identified by the environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion as para-athlete James Brown, lying on top of the plane for 20 minutes as authorities tried to get him down.

The protests are part of Extinction Rebellion's plan to "shut down" London's fifth largest airport from Thursday to Sunday in order to protest the airport's planned expansion. This expansion will make it "impossible" for the UK to reach carbon neutral status by 2050, the group said.

The main entrance to the site was blocked off by hundreds of activists, and one flight to Dublin was delayed by two hours when a man stood up before take-off, refusing to sit down and giving a lecture to the passengers and crew about climate change.

"We have two generations of human civilization left if we carry on doing what we're doing," the protester said, as passengers filmed him, heckling him and urging staff to remove him from the aircraft.


A BBC journalist aboard the flight tweeted: "Plane was at the end of runway. So the pilot taxied back to gate where plane was met by throng of police. They came on board and escorted the protester off the plane.

"And the final irony of the climate protest on our flight. We cannot take off until we have taken on extra fuel...to replace the fuel used up during the protest, our pilot notes with humour."

In addition to their actions at the airport, Extinction Rebellion has been active all over the UK as part of their week of action, which has resulted in roads being closed to the House of Parliament and other notable landmarks.

In just two days, over 600 protestors have been arrested across London, according to Cressida Dick, the head of London's Metropolitan Police.

"If you want to protest, you can go to the middle of Trafalgar Square," Dick said. "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."

Similar protests are taking place in cities all over the world.


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