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Extinction Rebellion protesters convicted ‘with regret’ by jury after gluing themselves to train in London

Activists who climbed on top of carriage at Canary Wharf due to be sentenced this week

Zoe Tidman
Wednesday 18 December 2019 18:00 GMT
Extinction Rebellion block central London road to demand action on air pollution

A jury expressed “regret” as it found Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters guilty of obstructing a railway after they glued themselves to a train at a London station.

The three activists had denied the charges, claiming their actions during the April protests were justified due to the climate crisis.

The jury unanimously found them guilty, although the foreman said the decision was “with regret”.

Cathy Eastburn and Luke Watson climbed on top of a train carriage at Canary Wharf station and glued their hands to its roof, while Mark Ovland glued his hands to the side, during the two weeks of environmental protests in April, which brought parts of London to a standstill.

XR, an activist group whose demonstrators are demanding government action on climate change, claims the trial was the first to be dealt with by a crown court rather than a magistrates’ court.

The trio, who were convicted at Inner London Crown Court for halting Docklands Light Railway services, will be sentenced on Thursday.

More than 1,000 XR activists were arrested during the April protests, during which a pink boat was used to block Oxford Circus and greenery covered Waterloo Bridge in London.

The Met Police said at least 1,800 people were arrested during October’s protests.

However, prosecutions have been dropped of those arrested under a protest ban later deemed unlawful.

Another XR protester glued himself to a different mode of transport in recent weeks, this time choosing the Liberal Democrat campaign bus.

The activist, dressed as a giant bumblebee, said he was campaigning for the fight against climate change to be a greater political priority.

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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