Extinction Rebellion set to bring chaos to London Underground as they expand protests to target Tube


Extinction Rebellion is planning to cause travel chaos this week by moving protests to target the London Underground.  

The climate activist group said it will expand its two-week long protest to the Tube service, where it will carry out “non-violent” demonstrations in a bid to “stop the Tube”. 

Protesters said the action, due to take place on Thursday, is to “alert the public to crisis by disrupting their daily lives.”

They have warned workers “to not intervene” to ensure the protests “go as smoothly and safely as possible for all involved”. 

A statement posted on the group’s website, directed at London Underground staff, said: “On 17 October, several XR affinity groups (autonomous civil disobedience groups) are planning to non-violently disrupt Tube services to highlight the climate and ecological emergency.

“We sincerely apologise to all those who may be affected as a consequence of this disruption.”

It added: “In any other circumstances these groups would never dream of disrupting the Tube but this is an emergency.

“The disruption is necessary to highlight that people are already dying as a result of climate change and to protect lives in the long term. Not just ours, but our children’s and grandchildren’s. 

“Many ways have been tried to raise awareness of the climate and ecological disaster we are now experiencing, and they’ve all failed to generate the necessary amount of action. Recently, XR have even banned from peaceful protest in the streets of London.

“This is now an emergency.  The individuals who have committed to this action wish to sound the alarm as loud as they can. This is disruption with a purpose.”

The group said participants will peacefully break the law in order to stop the Tube and then will wait to be arrested. 

It said the Met Police, British Transport Police and RMT about the planned disruption. 

The announcement comes after a police order, enforced on Monday, which banned campaigners from Trafalgar Square . 

Extinction Rebellion activist smashes Department of Transport window

Police had said Extinction Rebellion protesters and their tents must leave the square by Monday evening. 

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said the ban became necessary because protesters had repeatedly violated commitments to limit the demonstration to the square. 

The group later said it had “let the Trafalgar Square site go” but that “the international rebellion continues.”  

On Tuesday, a member of the group climbed on the entrance to the Department for Transport, while others glued themselves to a caravan outside Millbank tower. 

Police also dealt with a road block near Baker Street and told a number of protesters camped in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens to move on or risk arrest.

The police action was condemned by activists including Green Party legislator Caroline Lucas, who called it a “huge over-reach of police power” that violated the right to peaceful protest. 

Extinction Rebellion targets City of London over fossil fuel funding

Lawyers also questioned the legality of the ban, made under public order legislation already used to restrict the action to Trafalgar Square.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who oversees the force, said he would ask for more information over why the ban had been put in place.

More than 1,400 people have been arrested since the group began blocking roads, bridges and airports in London a week ago to demand faster action on climate change. Most have been released without being charged. 

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More about: | Extinction Rebellion | London | Tube


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