Climate change protesters glue themselves to Jeremy Corbyn's home
Climate activists have glued themselves together outside Jeremy Corbyn’s home as the protests that have caused widespread disruption across London entered a third day.
Four Extinction Rebellion demonstrators said they were trying to get the Labour leader to commit to tackling climate change.
The activists said they are “all Jeremy Corbyn supporters” but want the Labour Party to go further than declaring a “climate emergency”.
One of the protesters chained herself to the leader of the Opposition’s garden fence with a bike lock.
Mr Corbyn later left his home in Islington without speaking to the protesters.
More than half a million people have been affected by road closures, traffic gridlock and disruption to transport and businesses since Monday.
Transport for London (TfL) said the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) stunt caused only minor delays on the network.
Earlier, two demonstrators clambered aboard the carriage of a DLR at Canary Wharf station in east London and brought the network to a standstill.
The pair, a smartly dressed man and woman, unfurled a banner saying “climate emergency”, while below them another demonstrator wearing a hi-vis vest appeared to glue his hand to the train window.
He was later removed and arrested.
Below them a bearded demonstrator wearing a hi-vis vest glued his hand to the train window before being removed by officers and arrested.
Music student Anouska Stahlmann said the protests are “seriously flawed” after her mother and elderly grandparents were forced to walk across London to find alternative transport.
The 20-year-old’s mother has lupus while her grandparents are in their 70s and were travelling from their home in Buckinghamshire to see Ms Stahlmann’s sister perform in a play in south-east London.
“Considering my grandma has sciatica and my grandad has asthma, disruption on the Tubes is not an option,” she said. “They really risk being stuck in a tunnel.”
Ms Stahlmann said the trio are now walking across the city to catch a London Overground service.
“I have no issue with wanting to better the environment and we’re fairly conscious of it as a family,” she said. “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.”
Asked whether she felt the Extinction Rebellion’s methods are counter-productive, Ms Stahlmann said: “I mean, 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.”
Sam Appleton speaks about climate justice as the police make arrests around us. We will not stop talking about the systems of power and oppression that control us and destroy our planet. #InternationalSolidarity #ClimateJusticeNow #InternationalRebellion pic.twitter.com/c6TYIxCPDl
— Extinction Rebellion 🐝⌛️🦋 (@ExtinctionR) April 17, 2019
The demo comes as authorities disabled Wi-Fi at tube stations in a bid to stop campaigners intent on disrupting Underground services from co-ordinating their efforts.
Meanwhile, the number of arrests made connected to the demonstrations has risen to more than 300, Scotland Yard said.
The force said it was now “in the process of moving demonstrators on Waterloo Bridge” and “those that do not comply may be arrested”.
Extinction Rebellion has claimed police cells in the capital are full and “operating on a one-in, one-out capacity”.
But the Metropolitan Police has said it has “contingency plans in place” should they run out of space.
The protests have led to road closures, traffic gridlock and serious disruption to public transport and local businesses, with 55 bus routes closed and 500,000 people affected.
Announcing their latest plan to disrupt commuters’ journeys, the group said: “Participants will peacefully break the law in order to stop the Tube and then will wait to be arrested.
“We sincerely apologise to all those who may suffer as a consequence of this disruption. In any other circumstances we would never dream of disrupting the Tube but this is an emergency.
Another exciting day in the Rebellion. In a short time, we are going to be hearing from speakers in solidarity with the International Day of Peasants’ Struggle.
— Extinction Rebellion 🐝⌛️🦋 (@ExtinctionR) April 17, 2019
“We request that workers do not intervene in the protests to ensure that they go as smoothly and safely as possible for all involved.”
It is not clear how the group plans to disrupt Tube services.
In a statement, the London Mayor said that he shared the passion of the protesters about the urgent need to tackle climate change but urged them to reconsider.
Mr Khan said: “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 – and millions of Londoners depend on the Underground network to get about their daily lives in our city.
“Targeting public transport in this way would only damage the cause of all of us who want to tackle climate change, as well as risking Londoners’ safety and I’d implore anyone considering doing so to think again.”
A Transport for London spokesman said it was aware of plans for demonstrations on the Underground and urged people to check for travel updates before setting off.
The spokesman added: “The safety of our customers and staff is our number one priority and we’re already working closely with the police to manage the impact on London’s transport network.”
Groups of protesters remained in place through the night and into Wednesday morning at several locations, blocking the road at Marble Arch and Oxford Circus.
Four people ensconced in the road at Oxford Circus were playing cards and reported being visited by the police.
Meanwhile, a woman at Marble Arch, who gave her name as Virginia, said she had come from Oxford to join the protest “to keep the planet in good nick for my grandchildren”.
With arrests topping 300, one protester from Oxford called Ben said he was heading straight back to Marble Arch after being released from custody in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“I was respectful, they were respectful and they had to let me go because they didn’t have the resources to keep me in there, so I’m just keeping on rebelling basically,” he said in a video published on the group’s Twitter.
The Met imposed a 24-hour condition on Waterloo Bridge on Monday evening telling protesters to continue any demonstrations in the Marble Arch area, but on Tuesday said it extended it until Friday.
Another 24-hour condition was imposed in the Oxford Circus area on Tuesday and the Met said that a “number of arrests” had been made in the area that evening, but did not give details of how many or on what grounds.
The Met warned that demonstrations are expected to continue “throughout the coming weeks”.