Activists to begin ‘Hong Kong-style’ occupation of London City Airport

9 October 2019, 22:04 | Updated: 9 October 2019, 22:06

Extinction Rebellion protests
Extinction Rebellion protests. Picture: PA

Extinction Rebellion aims to ‘shut down’ the east London airport for three days.

Extinction Rebellion activists are to begin their three-day “Hong Kong-style” occupation of London City Airport.

The protest group says its members intend to “peacefully occupy and shut down” the airport’s terminal building from 9am on Thursday.

Activists say they will achieve this by lying, sitting or gluing themselves in front of the departure and arrival gates at the east London airport.

If they do not make it into the building, they plan to occupy the airport’s access road and DLR station.

London City Airport closed
Extinction Rebellion aims to shut down London City Airport for three days (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The latest protest is against the climate impact of flying and the Government’s ongoing support of airport expansion.

Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Rupert Read 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.”

The group said hundreds of people have already signed up to take part in the protest, which will seem them “non-violently use their bodies” to close the airport.

It said those taking part are willing to risk being arrested to achieve their aim.

Extinction Rebellion protests
An Extinction Rebellion protester on a wooden structure on Birdcage Walk, Westminster (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Hundreds of police officers are being drafted in from across England and Wales to help the Metropolitan Police with the protests, which are now in their third day.

Activists have been camped on rounds around Parliament Square and Whitehall since Monday calling for urgent action on climate change and wildlife.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that 800 people had been arrested since Monday, with another 220 detained on Wednesday.

Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor said there are plans in place to intervene and “deal proactively” with anyone who has the intention of shutting down the airport.

A London City Airport spokesman said they were working with the Met Police to prepare for the protests and all passengers would be required to show their boarding pass to access the terminal.

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