Climate-change protesters disrupt London docklands train service

Update: 2019-04-17 17:52 GMT

Climate-change protesters disrupt London docklands train service

Two environmental activists climbed onto the roof of a train in London's Canary Wharf financial district on Wednesday as part of a third day of action to force Britain to take more radical measures to avert climate change.

The Extinction Rebellion group has ratcheted up its protests in recent weeks, blocking Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge, smashing a door at the Shell building and shocking lawmakers with a semi-nude protest in parliament. Nearly 300 people have been arrested so far this week after campaigners blocked some of the capital's most iconic locations, many camping in tents on the streets.

The group advocates non-violent civil disobedience to force governments to reduce carbon emissions and avert what it says is a global climate crisis that will bring starvation, floods, wildfires and social collapse. A man dressed in a dark suit and a woman wearing a black jacket stood on the roof of a train at the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station in Canary Wharf, holding a banner which read: "Climate Emergency. Act Now."

Some passengers shouted at the pair to get off whilst police headed for the scene. Another activist glued himself to one of the trains. Transport for London said there were minor delays on a branch of DLR services "due to a customer incident" at Canary Wharf. British Transport Police said they had arrested one man on suspicion of obstructing the railway. Extinction Rebellion said such direct action was important to bring about change.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan had urged protesters to avoid targeting the city's public transit system. The protests have cost over 12 million pounds ($16 million) to businesses in London's West End, famous for its theatres and shops, with some seeing a 25 percent drop in sales and footfall. The police said they expected the demonstrations to continue in the next few weeks and promised to take action if necessary.

The group is demanding the government declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and create a citizen's assembly of members of the public to lead on decisions to address climate change.

-Hannah McKay & Costas Pitas

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