A climate change protester boarded a plane at London City Airport on Thursday morning, but hecklers were neither impressed nor moved by his one-man protest.
The climate change protester is believed to be a part of Extinction Rebellion. The activist group planned to protest the airport’s plans to expand.
Extinction Rebellion group spokesman Rupert Read expressed an intent to shut down the airport in a
Air travel is an icon of our fragile “just-in-time” economic system. That system will break, as Climate Chaos hits. By non-violently shutting down this airport, in homage to the style of the Hong Kong democracy protesters, we are demonstrating the utter frailty of the transport systems that countries such as ours, unwisely, have come to depend upon.
What are the details?
Footage of the incident hit the internet later Thursday morning, which featured the man staunchly refusing to take his seat.
Throughout the video, the unnamed man stands in the aircraft aisle, lecturing his fellow passengers on climate change despite a flight attendant’s continued requests for him to sit down.
Hecklers can be heard mildly telling the man to sit down. None of them appear to be interested in what he has to say about climate change.
One passenger can be heard asking the unnamed protester, “How long are you gonna be, mate?”
Another passenger can be heard threatening the protester as he insists, “I don’t wish to travel with you, but I don’t wish to get off [the plane].”
“You’ll be thrown off by me,” the passenger grouses.
The protester can be heard responding, “I’m sorry. I’m very sorry. I’m extremely sorry for the inconvenience,” adding, “We have two generations of human civilization left if we carry on doing what we’re doing.”
Police eventually escorted the man from the aircraft without further incident.
Twitter user Nicholas Watt, a “BBC Newsnight” political editor, addressed the incident on the social media platform.
“My flight from London City airport to Dublin has just been grounded by a climate change protester,” he
revealed in a lengthy Twitter thread. “On runway and about to take off when smartly dressed man in late middle age stood up with iPhone to deliver lecture on climate change up and down aisle.”
“Cabin crew calmly and very politely asked protestor to resume his seat,” he continued. “Politely but persistently he declined and proceeded to deliver his lecture on climate change in aisle. Some passengers annoyed, others listened to lecture with humor as cabin crew alerted pilot.”
“Plane was at the end of runway. So the pilot taxied back to gate where plane was met by throng of police. They came on board and escorted the protestor off the plane,” Watt added. “No skirmish and protestor left the plane.”
Watt said that the flight, of course, had been delayed because of the protester, and then a second time when the aircraft had to refuel.
wrote, “And the final irony of the climate protest on our flight. We cannot take off until we have taken on extra fuel … to replace the fuel used up during the protest, our pilot notes with humour.”
Watt also pointed out that law enforcement were out in full force at the airport because of the Extinction Rebellion protests.