As it happenedended1571343805

Extinction Rebellion protests: Group apologises over Tube disruption after furious mob of commuters clash with activists

Eight arrested as climate activists continue to defy London-wide ban on protests 

Emma Snaith,Zamira Rahim
Thursday 17 October 2019 17:55 BST
Extinction Rebellion protester dragged off tube train after disruption at Canning Town in London

Extinction Rebellion has apologised after protesters tried to stop trains on London’s tube network, only to be fiercely attacked by a mob.

Protesters were dragged from the top of trains and attacked by angry commuters as they halted a train at Canning Town station this morning.

Dozens of commuters were seen pulling at two campaigners who climbed to the top of a tube train with a ladder before they unfurled a banner reading “Business as usual = death”.

Bystanders then began to kick one of the activists they managed to drag to the floor.

Meanwhile, another group of activists glued themselves to a DLR train at Shadwell while commuters shouted “We’re on an electric train”.

“We to apologise to all those whose lives we disrupted this morning. We have spent a lot of time thinking about how best to respond,” am XR spokesperson said on Thursday afternoon.

“Extinction Rebellion remains fully committed to nonviolence. The climate and ecological emergency is the biggest threat facing us all today, and it is unfortunate that something like this has to happen for this to become ‘newsworthy’.

“That said, we are all incredibly sad at how events unfolded this morning, and are using this as an opportunity to learn and reflect as an organisation.

“Although we are pushing for disruption and civil disobedience, we are still learning how to do this in a way that does not result in violence, and that does not discriminate against hard-working individuals, especially those in communities who stand to be most affected by the climate and ecological crisis and are most vulnerable to systems of power.”

The group plans to continue its protests in central London, which have seen more than 1,600 people arrested.

If you would like to see how the protests unfolded, please see what was our live coverage below:


Hello and welcome to The Independent's rolling coverage of Extinction Rebellion's protests.

emma.snaith17 October 2019 07:47

Protesters drag Extinction Rebellion protesters from tube train

A video shared on social media appeared to show a number of activists climbing on to a train at Canning Town station as commuters try to drag them off. 

Commuters began kicking one protester who they managed to pull to the ground. 

The protesters held a sign reading "Business as usual = death".

emma.snaith17 October 2019 07:52

Activists target three stations

Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting at least three east London stations, British Transport Police said.

The force said on Twitter: "At this time we have three separate incidents involving Extinction Rebellion protest action at Stratford, Canning Town, and Shadwell.

"Arrests have already been made and officers are working quickly to resume services."

emma.snaith17 October 2019 07:54

Part of the London Underground closed

Part of  the Jubilee line has been closed following the incident at Canning Town, TFL said. There is currently no service between North Greenwich and Stratford. 

emma.snaith17 October 2019 07:58

Protesters glued on top of DLR Train at Shadwell

Another groups of activists have glued themselves on top of a DLR train at Shadwell station, Extinction Rebellion said. 

emma.snaith17 October 2019 08:13

Four activists arrested 

 British Transport Police said there had been four arrests so far at Stratford and Canning Town on the Jubilee Line.

“We remain at Shadwell DLR station, where specialist teams are working to remove four other protesters,” it added.

emma.snaith17 October 2019 08:18

Sadiq Khan says he "strongly condemns" tube protests 

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he "strongly condemns" the Extinction Rebellion protesters who have targeted the London Underground and DLR this morning, He described their action as "extremely dangerous" and "counterproductive". 

emma.snaith17 October 2019 08:22

Severe delays on DLR services

There are currently severe delays on parts of the DLR after the incident at Shadwell, TFL said. 

emma.snaith17 October 2019 08:25

Commuters accuse protesters of being 'hypocrites': 'It's an electric train though' 

Angry commuters have been filmed shouting at climate protesters glued on to a DLR train at Shadwell. 

One bystander said:  "I see you on your mobile phones. You're all using these things that you protest about.You're hypocrites" 

Another added: "We're on an electric train though. Are you guys stupid?"

emma.snaith17 October 2019 08:32

TFL urges commuters 'not to resort to violence'

TFL has urged  commuters "not to resort to violence" in response to the protests on its Metropolitan Line Twitter account. 

emma.snaith17 October 2019 08:40

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