Three charged over Canary Wharf train roof Extinction Rebellion climate protests
British Transport Police confirmed the trio have been charged with obstructing trains or carriages on the railway by an unlawful act.
The first people thought to have been charged over this week’s climate change protests in London are expected to appear in court later.
Cathy Eastburn, 51, Mark Ovland, 35, and Luke Watson, 29, are due before magistrates in the capital over their alleged involvement in obstructing trains at Canary Wharf station on Wednesday morning as part of the Extinction Rebellion protests which have disrupted transport services across London and in towns and cities across the country.
British Transport Police (BTP) confirmed the trio have been charged with obstructing trains or carriages on the railway by an unlawful act contrary to Section 36 of the Malicious Damage Act 1861.
Eastburn, of Gerards Close in Lambeth, south London, Ovland, of Keinton Mandeville, Somerton, Somerset, and Watson, from Manuden in Essex, are due at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court later.
British Transport Police continue to deploy additional officers throughout the London rail network to deter and disrupt further protest activity affecting the London Underground or other lines.
It comes as Londoners face a fourth day of disruption in the capital, despite nearly 400 arrests.
Some activists glued themselves to a train while others chained themselves to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s garden fence.
The campaigners challenged Environment Secretary Michael Gove to a meeting in Parliament Square – one of a handful of their strongholds in the capital – in an effort to find a solution to the issue.
— Extinction Rebellion (@ExtinctionR) April 18, 2019
We are happy to discuss leaving if you are happy to discuss the climate crisis with us and how we find solutions that focus on principles of fairness and justice.
Will you come down to Parliament Square and talk with us?
In a post on Twitter, the protesters said: “We are happy to discuss leaving if you are happy to discuss the climate crisis with us and how we find solutions that focus on principles of fairness and justice.
“Will you come down to Parliament Square and talk with us?
Asked about the protests on the BBC’s The One Show, Mr Gove said: “I think it’s appropriate for people to make their feelings known, but I also think, we’ve got the message, we understand that action needs to be taken.”
Part of Oxford Street continued to be closed off to vehicles, with the presence of a large pink boat – from which a DJ has been playing music to throngs of supporters – obstructing the main junction with Regent Street.
A mile west, a community of around 100 tents remain at Marble Arch.
An ice cream van has also moved in to take advantage of potential customers.
Swarms of climate protesters swelled on Waterloo Bridge for a fourth day on Thursday.
Commuters walking across the bridge, which is completely closed to traffic, were forced to weave between crowds of demonstrators waving the Extinction Rebellion flag and other banners calling for action to tackle a “climate emergency”.
A green sign with the message “Rebel For Life” was unfurled across the width of the road and some demonstrators were also perched on a protest truck parked on the bridge.
Tents were also in place alongside rows of potted plants which the activists had lined up along the road, and music was playing from speakers at the front line of the demo.
A handful of protesters also blocked traffic on one carriageway of Vauxhall Bridge Road, a short distance from Parliament Square, forcing some motorcyclists and cyclists to cross into the opposite carriageway towards oncoming traffic.
On Wednesday night, campaigners were playing a cat-and-mouse game with police, who promised to continue the operation overnight.
The Metropolitan Police could not confirm whether or not anyone had been charged with any criminal offences, while some of those released from custody rejoined the protests.
Activists said they plan to continue roadblocks, which have affected more than half a million people with traffic gridlock and disruption to transport and businesses since Monday, until at least next Friday.