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Protest expected at London City Airport as Extinction Rebellion threaten three-day 'shut down'

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 October 2019

London City Airport. Picture: Ken Mears

London City Airport. Picture: Ken Mears

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London City Airport passengers are facing potential flight disruptions as Extinction Rebellion (XR) threatens to shut it down for the next three days.

Activists from the environmental campaign group will descend on the airport this morning in a planned peaceful occupation of the hub until Saturday as part of an international mass protest this week.

The group says the 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.

Hundreds of participants are expected to risk arrest to take part in the peaceful protest.

London City Airport says it has worked closely with the Met this week to prepare for the threatened action.

"Our shared priority is the safe operation of the airport and to minimise disruption for passengers using the airport over the coming days," a spokesman said yesterday.

"All passengers travelling for the remainder of this week will be required to show their boarding pass to access the terminal."

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If the protesters cannot get into the airport, they plan to blockade it from the outside by occupying the DLR station and the access road.

XR activists have been occupying sites around Westminster since Monday.

Organisers say the airport is being targeted to highlight the "incompatibility of its planned £2billion 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."

Extinction Rebellion spokesman Rupert Read says: "London City Airport is planning to roughly double its numbers of flights.

"It is located in a highly built-up area meaning that its flights cause a lot of noise misery as well, of course, as climate-deadly pollution.

"It is used disproportionately by private jets and by financiers, businesspeople and other members of the polluter elite flying in and out of the City of London, when often they could do what they need just as well by using digital telecommunications."

He added: "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."

Passengers are advised to check the status of their flights with their airline before travelling to the airport.

The airport spokesman said: "Climate change is a global challenge and we remain committed to building a more sustainable future for the airport and the aviation industry, ensuring that we are playing our part in meeting the UK's 2050 carbon objectives."

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