Extinction Rebellion protesters blockade Farnborough airport

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Extinction rebels claim to have blocked all major entrances to Britain’s largest private jet airport.

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Protesters lay at three main entrances to Hampshire’s Farnborough Airport on Saturday morning, with a limousine being used to block an entrance.

In the other two, protesters sat atop temporary tepee-like structures and others were “locked” in barrels of oil in the middle of the street.

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Speaking from the scene, a member of Extinction Rebellion said: “We are here today because we are calling Farnborough Airport and we are calling private flights. We demand that the government ban private flights.”

Farnborough Airport operates private flights and claims to “offer 5-star service without compromise”. It operated over 32,000 flights in 2019, of which 27 per cent took place over the weekend.

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An airport spokesman told the BBC that the airport was still fully operational and the situation was being monitored. A video posted on social media at the start of the protests on Saturday morning showed cars driving around a blockade in the airport.

XR Farnborough, a local branch of Extinction Rebellion, said on social media that some of the blue flags blocking the road had been removed by security so that a car could be released from the airport to the hospital, before They should be replaced.

Hampshire Police said no arrests had been made, adding that “everyone has the right to free speech and protest”.

Protester Todd Smith, a former airline pilot from Reading, said: “It’s weird to be outside an airport in my uniform. I have a habit of getting up at 3 in the morning, put on the uniform and go to work.

“Unfortunately for me this is no longer a reality. Once I fully understood the reality of the situation we are in, I was forced to do something about it.”

He criticized the offer of sustainable aviation fuel to Farnborough Airport customers.

He said: “The term ‘sustainable aviation fuel’ was coined by the aviation and fossil fuel industry to deceive the public, green-lit the utterly perishable nature of biofuels.

“Biofuels result in land grabbing, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, water scarcity, increased food prices and land-use emissions, which may be worse than the fossil fuels being replaced by them.”

The Farnborough Airport protest was organized by XR South East, one of the Extinction Rebellion’s regional groups. He posted pictures and videos of a worker using wire cutters to get to the airport on Saturday morning.

The protests come after weeks of disruption by affiliate activist group Insulet Britain. The group held their tenth day of protest in three weeks on Friday, sticking themselves to the ground at Junction 3 of the M4 near Heathrow Airport.

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: “We can confirm that officers are at Farnborough Airport where a protest is taking place.

“Everyone has the right to freedom of speech and protest. We have a long history of facilitating peaceful protest and seeking to uphold the right to protest, to balance it with the rights of others, to keep the public safe, to prevent crime and disorder, and to minimize disruption.

“No arrests have been made at this time.”

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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