News of two actions disrupting finance workers on the DLR at Canary Wharf:
On the third day of large scale ecological and climate protests in London, one person glued themselves on to the window of a DLR train stopped at Canary Wharf Station, while two others climbed up on to the roof. There, the two held up a ‘Climate Emergency’ banner for a short time, and then glued their own hands on to the roof of the train.
Real Media interviewed Luke Watson and Cathy Eastburn before they were unstuck and lowered to the ground by specialist police officers. All three activists were arrested.
UPDATED 18th April: As a result of their action yesterday, Cathy Eastburn, Mark Ovland and Luke Watson appeared at Highbury Magistrates Court this morning, and were refused bail by the judge, who remanded them until a trial at Blackfriars Crown Court on May 16th. All three are charged with ‘obstructing public transport’.
SECOND ACTION 25th APRIL
Perhaps their incarceration was meant to discourage others, but Extinction Rebellion’s mobilisation techniques feature escalation and dilemma, so in solidarity with the ‘DLR3’, twice as many activists (all members of Christian Climate Coalition), carried out a similar protest on 25th April the following week.
While Diana, a recently retired GP, glued her hand to the outside of the train, five Christians, including Phil Kingston, celebrating his 83rd birthday, climbed onto the roof of a DLR train to Lewisham, which had stopped at the Canary Wharf platform.
They unfurled two large banners. One said “Don’t Jail The Canaries” – referring to the imprisoned protesters who had been trying to raise the alarm on the climate and ecological crisis. The other, “Business As Usual = Death”, was a reference to the London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s call for London to return to business as usual after police were instructed to forcibly remove roadblock protests across central London, resulting in more than 1000 arrests.
For two hours, the protesters made speeches, spoke to journalists, conversed with police, and spent some time praying. Phil also sat and ate his sandwiches to the amusement of onlookers. Another ten or so Extinction Rebellion activists and other members of Christian Climate Action provided support from the platform, and prayed and sang.
Eventually, specialist police officers helped the campaigners down ladders and all were taken into custody.
They appeared next day at Highbury Magistrates Court, where they all pled not guilty to obstructing public transport – (their defence will likely be that they all had reasonable excuse and were acting on their conscience).
The Crown Prosecution asked for them to be remanded. The judge however granted them conditional bail – with restrictions banning them from the London area and imposing a night-time curfew – and they will appear at Blackfriars Crown Court on 23rd May.