Extinction Rebellion: Charges over climate change train protest


Activists on to a Docklands Light Railway train at Canary WharfImage copyright
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Two activists climbed on to a train at Canary Wharf while another glued his hand to the window

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Three people have been charged over an Extinction Rebellion protest where activists climbed on top of a train.

A man glued himself to the side of a Docklands Light Railway (DLR) service in Canary Wharf while a man and woman had to be removed from the roof on Wednesday.

Two men and a woman have been charged with obstructing trains or carriages on the railway by an unlawful act.

Police have made nearly 400 arrests in London over the protests.

The people charged are Cathy Eastburn, 51, from Lambeth, south London; Mark Ovland, 35 of Somerton, Somerset; and Luke Watson, 29, of Manuden, Essex.

They have all been remanded in custody and are due to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court later, British Transport Police (BTP) said.

The force said it “continues to deploy additional officers throughout the London rail network to deter and disrupt further protest activity”.

Activists are continuing to block traffic at four sites in the capital in spite of police making over 100 arrests on Wednesday.

Marble Arch, Parliament Square, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge have been occupied by protesters since Monday.

Transport for London has warned that delays around those areas are expected “throughout the day”.

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Protesters continue to block Oxford Circus along with three other areas

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Demonstrators have been holding intermittent blockages on Vauxhall Bridge

A group of demonstrators has also been blocking Vauxhall Bridge for short periods of time as part of a “swarming” protest.

Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook has warned that the group’s tactics could escalate “if our demands are not met”.

She said: “More people are joining us all the time. We’re having a fantastic time here.”

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Met Police Federation, said it was “very difficult” for police to deal with the activists as “we have never dealt with something like this before”.

What is Extinction Rebellion?

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Media captionThe co-founder of the protest group invites people to join

Since the group was set up last year, members have shut bridges, poured buckets of fake blood outside Downing Street, blockaded the BBC and stripped semi-naked in Parliament.

It has three core demands: for the government to “tell the truth about climate change”; to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025; and to create a citizens’ assembly to oversee progress.

Controversially, the group is trying to get as many people arrested as possible.

But critics say they cause unnecessary disruption and waste police time when forces are already overstretched.

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