Climate protesters clash with Blade users in New York after blocking heliport entrance

Six Extinction Rebellion protesters arrested after blockading the West 30th St heliport

Bevan Hurley
Thursday 14 September 2023 17:57 BST
US: Climate Protesters Disrupt US Open Semifinal

Extinction Rebellion protesters clashed with wealthy New Yorkers during a noisy blockade of a heliport in Chelsea.

Six climate protesters were arrested after they blocked the entrance to the JRA heliport on West 30th St for 90 minutes on Wednesday.

Footage of the clashes captured by Freedom News TV showed the chaotic scenes as cars and pedestrians were prevented from entering the heliport from just after 3pm.

A security guard appeared to shove one activist who filmed a heated encounter as a black SUV was blocked.

The protesters waved banners declaring “luxury emissions” and “life or death”, while chanting: “Helicopters, private planes, your emissions are insane”.

VIPs passengers arriving at the protest attempted to skirt around the picket line while chaperoned by heliport ground staff.

NYPD officers eventually arrived to disrupt the protest, and could be seen in footage shared to social media throwing Extinction Rebellion activists to the ground as they made six arrests.

An NYPD spokesperson said in a statement: “At approximately 4.56pm at 30th Street and 12 Avenue, four males and two females were taken into custody and issued summonses for disorderly conduct.”

Extinction Rebellion protesters blockaded the entrance to the West 30th St heliport in New York City on Wednesday

Blade Air Mobility, which runs the heliport, continued to land flights as the blockade went on. It runs express services from Manhattan to JFK airport for $195 per seat.

Blade states on its website that it offsets carbon emissions and is aiming to convert its fleet of short-distance aircraft to carbon neutral EVA (Electric Vertical Aircraft).

An Extinction Rebellion spokesperson said in a statement it had disrupted private helicopter takeoffs at the heliport “the same way severe storms would”.

“Protestors warned that there are 'no luxury emissions on a dead planet', and demanded an end to fossil fuels.”

It said that Blade had committed “in word only” to purchasing electric helicopters to replace their current fossil fuel powered fleet.

“This crisis is life-threatening, and it's time we approach it as such.”

Extinction Rebellion activist last week disrupted the US Tennis Open semi-final between Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova when one glued their feet to the floor in a spectator section of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in