Arrests as Extinction Rebellion activists target London’s City Airport

Extinction Rebellion activists including an 83-year-old man have been arrested amid demonstrations aimed at shutting down a London airport.

A flight from London City Airport to Dublin was delayed when a protester on board stood up just as the plane was due to take off and began to deliver a lecture on climate change.

And 83-year-old Phil Kingston was among those arrested as hundreds of people blocked the main entrance for passengers – the third time he has been arrested as part of Extinction Rebellion protests in the past week.

The activists are attempting a three-day "Hong Kong-style occupation of the terminal building" to highlight what they claim is the "incompatibility" of the east London airport's planned expansion with meeting the Government's legally binding commitment to cut emissions to net-zero by 2050.

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Extinction Rebellion protests at City Airport, London
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Extinction Rebellion protests at City Airport, London
A man is carried away by police, after activists staged a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the train station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Two women hug amid a crowd of protesters, after activists staged a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the train station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Protesters stage a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the train station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Passengers walk past with suitcases as police search protesters, after activists staged a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the train station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
A man who has been arrested is watched by police after activists staged a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the train station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Police remove a protester from outside City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Protesters outside City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Police attempt to remove protesters from outside City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
A man is removed by police officers after activists staged a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the train station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Protesters outside City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Police in climbing equipment remove a protesters banner from the roof of the terminal building at City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
A man is removed by police officers after activists staged a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the train station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Police in climbing equipment remove a protesters banner from the roof of the terminal building at City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Police in climbing equipment remove a protester from the roof of the terminal building at City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Protesters blocking the road outside City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Protesters at City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Police in climbing equipment remove a protesters banner from the roof of the terminal building at City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Protesters at City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Negotiators attempt to coax protesters down from the roof of City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
A man is removed by police officers after activists staged a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the train station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
A man is removed by police officers after activists staged a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the train station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
A man is arrested by police officers from the Docklands Light Railway station after activists staged a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
A man wearing an Extinction Rebellion tie is escorted by police officers from the Docklands Light Railway station after activists staged a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
A man is arrested by police officers from the Docklands Light Railway station after activists staged a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Activists stage a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the Docklands Light Railway to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate change protest.
A man is escorted by police officers from the Docklands Light Railway station after activists staged a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the station to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
A protester stands on the roof of the terminal building at City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest.
Police officers watch as activists stage a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the Docklands Light Railway to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate change protest.
An activist holds a placard during a 'Hong Kong style' blockage of the exit from the Docklands Light Railway to City Airport, London, during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate change protest.
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At City Airport, passengers arriving for flights on Thursday were redirected to a second terminal entrance by security workers and were not allowed to enter the building without showing their boarding cards.

An activist who gave her name as Claire, 51, told the PA news agency: "I don't know what's going to happen over the next few hours, but I do know that a number of people have come here, City Airport, today to make the statement that there are many areas of our lives that are going to have to change because of the climate crisis we've created, and one of them is flying.

"We can't carry on with life, with business as usual," she said.

Claire said she had not made up her mind about whether she would allow herself to be arrested, but was later led away by police officers.

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."

But one flight to Dublin was delayed when an activist staged an on-board protest as the plane was due to take off.

BBC Newsnight political editor Nicholas Watt, who was on the flight, tweeted to say that a "smartly dressed man in late middle age" stood up to deliver a lecture on climate change in the aisle, and politely declined to take his seat when asked to by cabin crew.

Aer Lingus said the passenger was removed "due to disruptive behaviour on board" and a full security check of the aircraft was completed prior to the flight departing.

Elsewhere at the airport, activists continued to cause disruption outside the terminal, as several sat down on the zebra crossing, blocking traffic going in and out of the passenger drop-off zone.

Cars and buses were backed up in both directions before the demonstrators were cleared from the roads by police.

It is the latest wave of Extinction Rebellion protests which are taking place for a fourth day in the capital, calling for urgent action to tackle climate change and wildlife losses.

Roads around Parliament and Whitehall remained closed to traffic apart from cyclists amid a heavy police presence, with protesters camped in Trafalgar Square and nearby St James's Park.

A total of 800 people had been arrested in connection with the protests by Wednesday night, the Metropolitan Police said.

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