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Extinction Rebellion - live: Climate activists dance with police officers while three charged over Tube protest face month in custody

Leaked messages suggest protesters plan to 'shut down' Heathrow Airport on Good Friday

Chiara Giordano,Samuel Osborne
Thursday 18 April 2019 13:10
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Extinction Rebellion campaigner Rupert Read accused of being a hypocrite during LBC interview for taking taxi

As climate change protests continued for a fourth day on Thursday, leaked WhatsApp messages suggested activists are planning to "shut down" Heathrow Airport on Good Friday.

The airport said it was "working with the authorities" to address any threat of disruption over the long Easter weekend.

It came after Metropolitan Police updated the arrest figure to 428 on Thursday.

Home secretary Sajid Javid offered his support to the police and condemned any "unlawful protests", while London mayor Sadiq Khan suggested cuts to police funding were restricting the Met's ability to cope with the demonstrations.

Three activists appeared in court where they pleaded not guilty to charges relating to their alleged involvement in obstructing trains at Canary Wharf station on Wednesday morning.

They were remanded in custody for a month until they next appear at Blackfriars Crown Court on 16 May.

Follow how the protests develop throughout the day

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage as climate change protests enter a fourth day.

Extinction Rebellion organisers say they are expecting "thousands more rebels" to join their demonstrations over the Easter weekend.

The protest group disrupted London Tube line yesterday and Waterloo Bridge is closed to traffic today, while activists are also blocking part of Vauxhall Bridge.

Co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook has warned the group’s tactics will escalate if its demands “are not met”.

Chiara.Giordano18 April 2019 10:55
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Here's a handy guide to who exactly the Extinction Rebellion activists are and what they are aiming to achieve with demonstrations:

Chiara.Giordano18 April 2019 11:00
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Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook is encouraging people to take time off work and join protesters.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, she said: "I think our protest has been awesome, we are making history at the minute...people are having a fantastic time on the streets."

When presenter Nick Robinson pointed out that some people were having a "miserable" because of the disruption caused, she added: "They should take some time off work and come and join us."

Chiara.Giordano18 April 2019 11:15
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Two men and a woman are due to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court today after allegedly climbing on top of a train at Canary Wharf station in east London on Wednesday.

They were each charged with obstructing trains or carriages on the railway by an unlawful act contrary to Section 36 of the Malicious Damage Act 1861.

Chiara.Giordano18 April 2019 11:23
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Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has warned banks they cannot ignore the “catastrophic” effects of climate change and must be at the heart of tackling the problem.

Along with other central bankers from around the world, he called on governments and financial institutions to take a pivotal role in keeping temperature rises “well below 2C” as pledged under the Paris climate agreement.

Mr Carney said the “enormous human and financial costs of climate change are having a devastating effect on our collective wellbeing”.

Chiara.Giordano18 April 2019 11:42
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Two police officers were caught on video dancing in the centre of a large crowd of protesters in central London last night.

The pair can be seen throwing their hands in the air as they dance along to shouts of "we love it, we love it" in Oxford Circus.

Waterside Cafe Wildlife Garden shared the video on Twitter alongside the message "police solidarity with Extinction Rebellion at Oxford Circus! Brilliant!"

Chiara.Giordano18 April 2019 12:18
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The Metropolitan Police have begun inquiries to identify two officers videoed dancing with climate change protesters in Oxford Circus on Wednesday night.

Commander Jane Connors said she was "disappointed by the video and the unacceptable behaviour of the officers in it".

She said: "We expect our officers to engage with protesters but clearly their actions fall short of the tone of the policing operation at a time when people are frustrated at the actions of the protesters.

"We will be reminding officers of their responsibilities and expectations in policing this operation - however the majority of officers have been working long hours and I am grateful to them for their continued commitment."

Chiara.Giordano18 April 2019 12:40
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Footage on social media appears to show police officers arresting a protester on Oxford Street, where a large pink boat at the junction with Regent Street has led to road closures.

One activist could be seen being carried away by a group of officers in hi-vis jackets, while supporters applauded.

The arrest took place amid a smattering of whistles and whoops from the crowd, while a DJ played Bob Marley's One Love in the background.

The London branch of Extinction Rebellion, which posted the clip, said: "Police getting stuck in at Oxford Circus ... We respect they have a job to do but so do we; to get our government to act now and avoid irreversible climate change & ecological collapse. If you eat food or drink water, this is for you. Join us in #ExtinctionRebellion today!"

Samuel Osborne18 April 2019 13:01
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Around half a dozen arrests have been carried out by police at Oxford Circus within 20 minutes as police began carrying demonstrators away.

Cheers rang out and whistles blown as people were taken away into police vans.

Samuel Osborne18 April 2019 13:14
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Sir David Attenborough has warned of a "man-made disaster on a global scale" and a "devastating future" if action is not taken to combat climate change.

The veteran broadcaster delivers a stark warning in the new documentary Climate Change: The Facts, which airs on BBC One tonight.

He says: "It may sound frightening but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade we could face irreversible damage of the natural world, and the collapse of our societies.

"We are running out of time but there is still hope. I believe that if we better understand the threat we face, the more likely it is that we can avoid such a catastrophic future.

"Our climate is changing because of one simple fact...our world is getting hotter."

Chiara.Giordano18 April 2019 13:50

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