Protests by climate change alarmist group Extinction Rebellion erupted into violence on Thursday after radical activists got on top of trains, forcing the system to shut down and thus preventing London commuters from getting to work.
Extinction Rebellion, a loose affiliation of radical climate change activists, has been engaged in a series of protests intended to “disrupt” society in order to draw attention to the supposed “extinction”-level threat posed by global warming. As BBC‘s chief environment correspondent put it, this latest stunt “represents a significant escalation of its strategy of ‘disruption’.”
BBC reports that protesters from the group climbed on trains at Stratford, Canning Town, and Shadwell during rush hour Thursday. As a result of their actions, service on the Jubilee Line and Docklands Light Railway was temporarily suspended, BBC reports, an extreme “disruption” that the radical group said was “necessary to highlight the emergency” of climate change.
At least eight of the activists have been arrested, according to British Transport Police.
As video posted online shows, the situation got particularly tense at the Canning Town station after multiple protesters climbed onto train carriages.
As a growing number of commuters became increasingly furious over the activists’ antics, a few of them took action, yanking protesters off train cars. When the protesters were forced into the middle of the livid commuters, things got even more tense: videos show pushing, shoving, and shouting erupting, with officials reportedly being forced to intervene at some points to avoid an escalation of violence.
“The two activists used a ladder to climb up onto the carriage, causing passengers to begin shouting at them to get down before launching a physical attack,” Metro reports. “A man was seen throwing a bag of crisps at the pair, while others chucked their drinks and bits of cardboard as the number of people on the platform grew.”
“You guys have done nothing wrong. We’re so sorry about this,” one of the activists yelled, the outlet reports. But when a commuter attempted to use the ladder to get up to him, the activist kicked at him.
The activist is eventually grabbed by the legs and yanked down into the angry crowd, where he appears to be pushed, punched, and kicked.
Another protester was chased down by a commuter on the top of the train and then shoved off and dragged down like his fellow climate alarmist.
Some of the footage of the chaos posted on social media below:
Furious London commuters have been pulling Extinction Rebellion protesters off the top of a train at Canning Town station pic.twitter.com/ZHgsVCIxft
— Metro (@MetroUK) October 17, 2019
— Shama Junejo (@ShamaJunejo) October 17, 2019
And here is the scene before things erupted:
Extinction Rebellion begin their planned disruption of the tube on the Jubilee Line at Canning Town 👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/oN8LDO1G0o
— Holly Collins (@HollyJoCollins) October 17, 2019
Below is more footage that has gone viral of livid commuters pointing out the hypocrisy of an activist who glued herself to a train:
— Jenny Longden (@JenLongdenNews) October 17, 2019
“A third Extinction Rebellion activist, who was broadcasting the protest on the group’s social media accounts, said he was also attacked and ‘kicked in the head,'” BBC reports.
British Transport Police described the situation in Canning Town as “concerning,” rebuking commuters for having taken “matters into their own hands” and “displaying violent behaviour to detain a protester.”
“It is important that commuters and other rail users allow the police, who are specially trained, to manage these incidents,” Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan said in a statement reported by BBC. “Unfortunately, there is still a risk that Extinction Rebellion will target the rail network during this evening’s peak. We will continue to have extra officers on patrol and will work to disrupt any potential criminal action before it happens.”