ENVIRONMENTAL protest group Extinction Rebellion have said they will “peacefully occupy” London City Airport from October 10 for three days.
The move is part of the group’s wider two-week “shut down” of the capital. But how can you find out if your flight is affected?
How do I check if my flight is affected by the protests?
Extinction Rebellion‘s occupation will no doubt cause some disruption, with activists planning a “Hong Kong style” protest, with eco-warriors obstructing departure and arrivals gates.
However, London City Airport have said that they are in talks with police and will impose security measures, including requiring visitors to show a boarding pass before they can enter the terminal for the rest of this week – which could scupper XR’s plans.
In a Twitter message the airport said that only travelling passengers would be given access to the terminal with those flying having to show their boarding pass to gain entry.
There is already a heavy police presence at the airport today, October 10, although protesters have said that if they cannot get access to the airport they will try to block the airport’s access road and DLR station.
Meanwhile, the airport has issued a warning to travellers – advising them to continue to check travel plans and the status of any flights with individual airlines.
What has happened at City Airport with the protesters?
Police maintained a strong, visible presence outside the airport’s terminal first thing this morning but that didn’t stop many protesters from making their voices heard.
One protester managed to climb onto the roof of the building and unfurled a banner saying: “Our fragile planet is dying”.
Standing on the roof, he bellowed down: “Shut the airport down! Rebellion!”
Another man even managed to get onto a plane and cause a delay in it taking off before he was arrested and removed.
A well-dressed man managed to get onto an Aer Lingus flight to Dublin when he stood up and delivered a lecture to the passengers on climate change.
Filming himself on his phone, the man said: “I don’t wish to travel with you, but I don’t wish to get off”.
He went on: “I’m extremely sorry for the inconvenience”.
Furious passengers responded saying: “You’re not sorry at all”.
Environmentalists attempted to block the entrance to the airport from the DLR by sitting together on the ground.
Protesters have been dragged out the airport by officers after failing to break through security into the terminal.
The Metropolitan Police said 800 people have been arrested since the start of the Extinction Rebellion protests on Monday, including 91-year-old John Lynes yesterday.
Why are Extinction Rebellion protesting at London City Airport?
The group‘s statement today said: “Protest targets the continued Government support for expansion of air travel, which benefits the rich and punishes the poor, in the face of the Climate and Ecological Emergency.”
They added: “In the biggest mass participation action of the International Rebellion, the Fly Today, No Tomorrow action will involve a ‘Hong Kong style’ occupation of the terminal building, lying, sitting or glueing-on in front of the departure and arrivals gates.
An Extinction Rebellion spokesman said: “By non-violently shutting down this airport, in homage to the style of the Hong Kong democracy protesters, we are demonstrating the utter frailty of the transport systems that countries such as ours, unwisely, have come to depend upon.”
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“Hundreds of participants have already signed up to nonviolently use their bodies to close the airport, and are willing to sacrifice their liberty to achieve this aim.
“City Airport is being targeted to highlight the incompatibility of its planned £2bn expansion with addressing the Climate and Ecological Emergency declared by Parliament or meeting the Government’s legally binding commitment to go net carbon neutral by 2050.
“Airport expansion such as this and the proposed third runway at Heathrow will make it impossible to meet this commitment, resulting in dire consequences as the Emergency worsens.”
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