British Police Arrest Over 800 Climate Change Protesters Trying to Shut Down Airport

Young protesters participate in a rally near the U.S. Capitol as part of the D.C. Climate Strike March in Washington, D.C., September 20, 2019. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

London’s Metropolitan Police arrested over 800 climate change activists this week throughout the city, some of whom attempted to shut down London City Airport on Thursday.

Demonstrators with Extinction Rebellion, a climate activism movement that says it encourages civil disobedience to compel government action, have cropped up around London over the past four days. Activists said they planned a “Hong Kong-style occupation of the terminal building,” a reference to pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong who shut down the city’s international airport in August.

The group targeted the London airport over the travel hub’s £2 billion expansion plan, which activists say does not comply with Britain’s goal to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

At least 29 people have been charged with crimes. The protests have so far not forced the airport to close but have caused some delayed flights.

One protester, former Paralympic cyclist James Brown, even climbed on top of a British Airways plane. Another activist refused to resume his seat on a plane as the flight was preparing to depart and began lecturing the other passengers on climate change before police removed him from the plane for “disruptive behavior on board,” the airline said.

The London protests come as climate change emerges at the forefront of the political debate in the U.S.

Last month, Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg gave remarks before world leaders at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City, accusing the assembled heads of state of having “stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth,” Thunberg said.

Meanwhile, Extinction Rebellion has organized five days of protests this week in New York City and around the U.S. One such demonstration outside the New York Stock Exchange featured protesters lying in pools of fake blood.

Most Popular

White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review


Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More

Democrats Think They Can Win without You

A  few days ago, Ericka Anderson, an old friend of National Review, popped up in the pages of the New York Times lamenting that “the Democratic presidential field neglects abundant pools of potential Democrat converts, leaving persuadable audiences — like independents and Trump-averse, anti-abortion ... Read More