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Plane returns to terminal as climate change protester is arrested on board

Sky News logo Sky News 10/10/2019 Tom Gillespie, news reporter
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Watch: 'We have two generations left': Protester halts flight (Sky)

A plane has returned to the terminal of London City Airport after a climate change protester disrupted the flight, according to Sky sources.

Pictures show the protester being arrested by police before he was led off the plane.

The arrest comes as hundreds of demonstrators are attempting to shut down the airport in protest against the climate impact of flying.

Extinction Rebellion activists are beginning what they call a three-day "Hong Kong-style occupation of the terminal building".

Several other arrests have been made at the airport where some protesters have glued themselves to the floor. a man standing next to a car: Police remove the protester from the plane. Pic: Warren Swalbe © Other Police remove the protester from the plane. Pic: Warren Swalbe

Footage shared by Twitter user Warren Swalbe shows a demonstrator on a plane on the runway.

The protester can be heard telling an air hostess: "I don't wish to travel with you but I don't wish to get off."

He adds: "I'm extremely sorry for the inconvenience."

Gallery: Climate protests around the world (Photos)

A passenger off-camera is then heard saying to the air hostess: "Can you do us all a favour and remove him from the plane?"

The protester then continues: "We have two generations of human civilisation left if we carry on doing what we're doing."

Mr Swalbe shared another photo that showed police arresting the demonstrator.

Extinction Rebellion said earlier that it intended to "peacefully occupy and shut down" the airport's terminal building from 9am on Thursday.

The Metropolitan Police is yet to give an exact figure for how many protesters have been arrested.

a person sitting in a chair talking on a cell phone: An elderly protester is carried away by police after being arrested © Getty An elderly protester is carried away by police after being arrested

Sky's home affairs correspondent Mark White is at the airport where a protester was seen on a low roof the terminal building.

Footage shows people below cheering as the demonstrator shouts something from the rooftop.

Sky's senior correspondent Ian Woods, who is at the site, said there were "early arrests" as protesters attempted to shut the airport down.

Photos show police officers carrying away arrested protesters during the morning of climate change action.

Officers have also been seen escorting demonstrators out of the airport's Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station.

Protesters said earlier they want to stop flights by lying, sitting or gluing themselves in front of the departure and arrival gates at the east London airport.

They added that they planned to occupy the airport's access road and the DLR station if they could not make it into the building. a group of people wearing military uniforms: An arrested demonstrator smiles as he is carried away by police © Getty An arrested demonstrator smiles as he is carried away by police

Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Rupert Read said: "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."

The group said hundreds of people had signed up to take part in the protest.

It said those taking part are willing to risk being arrested to achieve their aim.

Metropolitan Police Deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor said there are plans in place to intervene and "deal proactively" with anyone who has the intention of shutting down the airport.

A London City Airport spokesman said: "We can confirm that a number of protesters have arrived at London City Airport.

"We continue to work closely with the Metropolitan Police to ensure the safe operation of the airport, which remains fully open and operational. If you are flying from London City today, please check the status of your flight with your airline before travelling to the airport."

The sit-in comes on the fourth day of the Extinction Rebellion climate change protests, which are taking place across central London and other major cities worldwide.

Hundreds of officers are being drafted in from across England and Wales to help the Met Police with the demonstrations.

Officers confirmed that 800 people have been arrested since Monday, with another 220 detained on Wednesday.

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