Climate-change protesters disrupt London docklands train service

By Hannah McKay and Costas Pitas LONDON (Reuters) - Two environmental activists climbed onto the roof of a train in London's Canary Wharf financial district on Wednesday as part of a third day of action to force Britain to take more radical measures to avert climate change. The Extinction Rebellion group has ratcheted up its protests in recent weeks, blocking Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge, smashing a door at the Shell building and shocking lawmakers with a semi-nude protest in parliament.

Reuters April 18, 2019 00:10:28 IST
Climate-change protesters disrupt London docklands train service

Climatechange protesters disrupt London docklands train service

By Hannah McKay and Costas Pitas

LONDON (Reuters) - Two environmental activists climbed onto the roof of a train in London's Canary Wharf financial district on Wednesday as part of a third day of action to force Britain to take more radical measures to avert climate change.

The Extinction Rebellion group has ratcheted up its protests in recent weeks, blocking Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge, smashing a door at the Shell building and shocking lawmakers with a semi-nude protest in parliament.

Nearly 300 people have been arrested so far this week after campaigners blocked some of the capital's most iconic locations, many camping in tents on the streets.

The group advocates non-violent civil disobedience to force governments to reduce carbon emissions and avert what it says is a global climate crisis that will bring starvation, floods, wildfires and social collapse.

A man dressed in a dark suit and a woman wearing a black jacket stood on the roof of a train at the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station in Canary Wharf, holding a banner which read: "Climate Emergency. Act Now."

Some passengers shouted at the pair to get off whilst police headed for the scene. Another activist glued himself to one of the trains.

Transport for London said there were minor delays on a branch of DLR services "due to a customer incident" at Canary Wharf. British Transport Police said they had arrested one man on suspicion of obstructing the railway.

Extinction Rebellion said such direct action was important to bring about change.

"As with a labour strike, economic disruption is key in forcing the government to come to the table and negotiate our demands," they said on their website.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan had urged protesters to avoid targeting the city's public transit system.

"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," Khan said.

COST TO BUSINESS

The protests have cost over 12 million pounds ($16 million)to businesses in London's West End, famous for its theatres and shops, with some seeing a 25 percent drop in sales and footfall.

"This additional pressure is deeply damaging to London’s economy and reputation," said Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of the New West End Company, which represents businesses in the area.

Police said they expected the demonstrations to continue in the next few weeks and promised to take action if necessary.

"We need to ensure we are striking the right balance between allowing the right to a peaceful protest, while ensuring disruption to communities is kept to a minimum," Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove said on Tuesday.

The group is demanding the government declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and create a citizen's assembly of members of the public to lead on decisions to address climate change.

In 2017, total United Kingdom greenhouse gas emissions were 43 percent lower than in 1990 and 2.6 percent lower than 2016, according to government statistics.

(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.