Climate change protesters disrupt London's DLR services


Protesters climb a DLR train at Canary Wharf

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Activists from Extinction Rebellion are staging a fresh protest on London's Docklands Light Railway.

The climate change protesters have been gluing themselves to the trains which serve an area of East London.

The group announced yesterday they were planning to disrupt Tube services, but instead opted to protest at the DLR.

In a statement, they said they would "non-violently disrupt Tube services to highlight the emergency of ecological collapse" on Wednesday if the government does not meet its demand.

It added: "Participants will peacefully break the law in order to stop the Tube and then will wait to be arrested.

"We sincerely apologise to all those who may suffer as a consequence of this disruption. In any other circumstances we would never dream of disrupting the Tube but this is an emergency.

"We request that workers do not intervene in the protests to ensure that they go as smoothly and safely as possible for all involved."

The move is the latest in a series of climate change protests, which have led to nearly 300 people being arrested in the capital.

Extinction Rebellion demonstrations have taken place at Parliament Square, Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch so far this week.

The protests have led to road closures, traffic gridlock and serious disruption to public transport and local businesses, with 55 bus routes closed and 500,000 people affected.

On Monday climate change protesters targeted Shell's London Headquarters. 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that while he shared the passion of the protesters about the urgent need to tackle climate change he was "extremely concerned" about plans to disrupt the London Underground.

In a statement posted on Twitter he said: "It is absolutely crucial to get more people using public transport, as well as walking and cycling, if we are to tackle this climate emergency - and millions of Londoners depend on the Underground network to get about their daily lives in our city.

"Targeting public transport in this way would only damage the cause of all of us who want to tackle climate change, as well as risking Londoners' safety and I'd implore anyone considering doing so to think again."

Peter Bleksley, a former detective for the Metropolitan Police, has called the protest “lazy” and “pointless”.

He told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “I sympathise hugely with the commuters who want to go about their daily business and find themselves obstructed from doing that because this entire protest is the laziest, most numb-skull type, knuckle-dragging, pointless protest that I can possibly think of.

“If you want to create a social movement to bring about change in society then you need to reach out and engage with the mainstream.”

Climate protesters join Extinction Rebellion Scotland as they form a road block on the North Bridge in Edinburgh.

Groups of protesters remained in place through the night and into Wednesday morning at several locations, blocking the road at Marble Arch and Oxford Circus.

Police earlier said 290 people had been arrested in connection with the demonstrations, with many of these at Waterloo Bridge.

A Transport for London spokesman said it was aware of plans for demonstrations on the Underground and urged people to check for travel updates before setting off.

"The safety of our customers and staff is our number one priority and we're already working closely with the police to manage the impact on London's transport network."

Elsewhere on Tuesday 29 people were arrested after hundreds of activists from the Extinction Rebellion Scotland group occupied Edinburgh's North Bridge, bringing traffic to a standstill.

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