Extinction Rebellion plans to shut down London City airport this week


Extinction Rebellion is planning to shutdown London City airport for three days later this week. 

The climate activists, who have been protesting in Central London, said they planned to occupy both the departure and arrivals hall of the airport with the aim of blocking security.

The plan is to do a “Hong Kong-style occupation”, which saw one of Asia’s busiest hubs paralysed for several days in August in ongoing protests around freedoms in the territory.

Starting on Thursday climate protesters plan to occupy the London City terminal building by “lying, sitting or glueing-on in front of the departure or arrivals gates” in protest at the London airport’s expansion plan.

If that fails, Extinction Rebellion said, activists will block the DLR station and road outside the airport terminal building, to make the group’s “13th site”.

The plan is to close the airport for three days.

“As this poses no risk to the airfield safety itself the action is nonviolent, safe and open to everyone,” Extinction Rebellion said.

It added that hundreds were expected to show up for the demonstration, including several co-founders of the movement.

So far this week, more than 500 protesters have been arrested in London as the group embarks on two weeks of demonstrations demanding urgent government action on climate change.  

“We are aware of Extinction Rebellion’s threat of protest at London City Airport and are working with the Metropolitan Police to ensure the safety and security of our passengers, as well as minimising any disruption to their journeys,” said a spokesperson from London City Airport.

“We urge protesters to think twice about preventing hardworking people from travelling, be that families going on holiday from their local airport, tourists visiting London, or small businesses that rely on convenient connections.

“The climate change challenge is a matter for everyone, and we are committed to playing our part in achieving realistic plans to rapidly decarbonise. London City Airport has already reduced emissions by 30 per cent over five years and we are committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, as well as working with partners on initiatives that will significantly reduce overall emissions related to aviation.”

Last month, five climate activists part of Heathrow Pause, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, were arrested near Heathrow airport for trying to fly drones near Europe’s busiest airport. However, their actions failed to have any impact and the airport continued to operate as normal.

The Independent  has contacted London’s Metropolitan Police for comment. 

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