Credit: Mason Boycott-Owen/PA
Climate change activists climbed on top of a Docklands Light Railway (DLR) train, while simultaneously others targeted the London Stock Exchange on Thursday.
The Extinction Rebellion protesters were singing and holding banners at Canary Wharf station including one that read “Business as usual = Death”. Activists said the poster referenced the “financial sector’s role in our collective suicide”
It’s bizarre we have to do this in order for governments to listen to the scientists,’ said the 60-year-old Diana Warner, who glued her hand to the carriage of the train. “I’ve got children who are grown up so I can do this. I’m doing it for everyone who can’t.”
A retired police officer in his eighties was among the climate change campaigners.
Phill Kingston brought protests banners and a packed lunch to climb on top of the train at Canary Wharf station with three other activists shortly after 7am.
The pensioner was celebrating his 83 birthday and was eating a sandwich before he was arrested.
Credit: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
During the protest, Mr. Kingston said: ‘I’m here because I have a belief that there is something greater than us, which tells me that we don’t own this earth.
“I take action for my grandchildren. I love them so much and it breaks my heart the thought of the world we are leaving them,’ said the 83-year-old activist, who is also a Roman Catholic.
Mr. Kingston stayed on the train’s roof for almost two hours. He was arrested by British Transport Police officers on suspicion of obstructing a railway.
Simultaneously, 13 protesters in Central London glued themselves to the front and back of the London Stock Exchange building. Nine protesters, two men and seven women, formed a blockade to prevent people from entering.
‘Their tactics can be seen as quite extreme but to a certain extent I think it’s become necessary to do radical things that make people take notice,’ said Daisy Malt, sustainability and engagement officer at the University of Essex.
The campaigners were wearing LED signs reading “Climate emergency”, “Tell the truth” and “You can’t eat money”.
According to Mrs. Malt, Extinction Rebellion may alienate people by locking roads in London and impeding daily life, but the reality is that the long-term consequences of climate change will be far more problematic.
She said: ‘Once we hit certain levels of warming, it’s not just that a few bad things will happen, it kicks off a chain of events that are fundamentally harmful to the existence of species, ecosystems and weather patterns – and it’s irreversible.’
Twenty-six people were arrested after the protests on suspicion of aggravated trespassing.
Extinction Rebellion named the activists on their website and gave their ages and occupations.
Asked if she supports the climate movement, Coralie Jobert-Valla, 19, a law student from the University of Essex said: ‘Everyone knows that the world is in danger. Everyone talks about the climate change. But no one is willing to take serious actions. Extinction Rebellion made people realize that climate change is a bigger issue than the government is making out.’
Credit: Isabel Infantes/PA
‘Our leaders have failed us. It’s time to rebel,’ wrote Extinction Rebellion on their website.
More than 1 300 people have been arrested since the protests started on 15th of April. The number of police officers deployed over this period goes beyond 10 000.