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AFP
October 11, 2019

Climate protesters try to ‘occupy’ London city airport

World

AFP
October 11, 2019

LONDON: London police dragged away several chanting and singing climate protesters on Thursday who tried to "occupy" an international airport serving the British capital’s global financial hub.

Uniformed officers were seen dragging several Extinction Rebellion group demonstrators from outside London City Airport, although there was no immediate official tally of arrests. Campaigners, some of them in business suits, also staged a sit-in on the platform of the nearby overground train station.

Others unfurled the group’s trademark pink banner showing an hour glass -- a symbol of time running out to save the planet from a "climate emergency". The year-old group backed by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg is spearheading a two-week global action that kicked off Monday with partial shutdowns of traffic in cities stretching from Sydney to New York.

In Berlin, protesters blocked a bridge overlooking the Reichstag building. In London, airport officials said it has managed to remain "fully open and operational" by limiting entrance to the main terminal to ticketed passengers.

"We continue to work closely with the Metropolitan Police to ensure the safe operation of the airport," it said in a statement. London police reported making 800 arrests in the first three days of protests that included campaigners glueing themselves to the pavement and chaining themselves to cars.

Extinction Rebellion had announced it was planning a "Hong Kong-style" occupation of London City Airport because of the small hub’s ongoing expansion plans. It lies some three miles east of the Canary Wharf business district -- one of Britain’s main financial centres -- and the nearby bustling City of London.

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