Extinction Rebellion slammed for forcing people to use cars after blocking public transport

Police and officials stand by as climate activists protest atop a Dockland Light Railway carriage at Canary Wharf station in London, as part of the ongoing climate change demonstrations in the capital, Wednesday April 17, 2019. The environment protest group Extinction Rebellion are calling for general public protests with civic disobedience held over several days, to highlight what it says is the failure to tackle the causes of climate change. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)
Climate Extinction protesters disrupted services on the DLR line in London at Canary Wharf. The man in the bottom left has glued his hand to the window. (AP)

Climate change activists who want to "shut down London" have disrupted access to several key tube stations to raise awareness - but their tactics haven't had their intended effect.

Extinction Rebellion protesters tactics focused on disrupting trains on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) line at Canary Wharf station on Wednesday, causing delays across the network.

More than 300 people have been arrested since Monday, they initially started blocking roads disrupting cars and bus, but moved to tube stations hoping to raise awareness of threats to the environment.

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Critics of their latest tactics have emerged from across the political spectrum including Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who asked whether the protestors have questioned if disrupting public transport is consistent with their aims.

LBC radio host Nick Ferrari interviewed one of Extinction Rebellion's organisers, asking: "I thought we were meant to travel on public transport...what are [we] meant to do? Try and make a bicycle out of hemp or something?"

The organiser responded by saying she wasn't involved in the protests around public transport but said she thought the people who were were trying to "raise their voices louder".

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Efficient public transport is often cited as a way nations can reduce their carbon footprint by encouraging fewer people to use their cars and for them to share the same train or bus to get to where they need to be.

Many people who use London's tube network to get around and were sympathetic to the aims of Extinction Rebellion have expressed frustration with their tactics.

Music student Anouska Stahlmann has said the protests were “seriously flawed” after her mother and elderly grandparents were forced to walk across London to find alternative transport.

Climate change protesters hold up a banner saying 'We can Change" during a demonstration in London, Monday, April 15, 2019. Extinction Rebellion have organised a nationwide week of action, they are calling for a full-scale Rebellion to demand decisive action from governments on climate change and ecological collapse. They plan to engage in acts of non-violent civil disobedience against governments in capital cities around the world. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Protesters have been disrupting transport in the capital since Monday. (AP)

She said: “Considering my grandma has sciatica and my grandad has asthma, disruption on the Tubes is not an option.

“I have no issue with wanting to better the environment and we’re fairly conscious of it as a family."

“Their methods, however, are seriously flawed and are not inclusive of people who want to support the cause. I find it awful they’re disintegrating into a rent-a-mob mentality really. I’d expect better.”

Demonstrators block the road during a climate protest in Parliament Square in London, Monday, April 15, 2019. Extinction Rebellion have organised a nationwide week of action, they are calling for a full-scale Rebellion to demand decisive action from governments on climate change and ecological collapse. They plan to engage in acts of non-violent civil disobedience against governments in capital cities around the world.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
The first two days of protests focused on disrupting cars and buses, but on Wednesday they moved to stop tubes working which drew harsher criticism. (AP)

"We’re all being told to use public transport as it’s healthier for the environment but, now, everyone is going to get in their cars instead today because it’s going to be more reliable.”

Echoing the sentiment Sefan White, 24, who works for a company that produces bar snacks in sustainable packaging, was stopped getting to work by a protestor gluing his hand to a train.

He said: “I’m devastated. I’m trying to get to a job now. We’ve got to go round Camden on a 30-pub journey and we’re going to be late now, we’re probably going to lose money today."

In an attempt to reduce the effectiveness of the protests there was an increased police presence at certain tube stations and Transport For London turned off the networks free wifi.