Extinction Rebellion co-founder on trial over attempted drone disruption at Heathrow airport
Monday, 14 October 2019
On Saturday at least 400 demonstrators occupied the Place Royale square as part of the “Royal Rebellion,. Credit: Jules Johnston/The Brussels Times
Roger Hallam, co-founder of the environmental movement Extinction Rebellion, appeared on video on Monday in a London court on suspicion of attempting to disrupt air traffic by the use of a drone at Heathrow airport.
Hallam, 53, appeared in Isleworth Court via videoconference from the prison where he is in custody.
Hallam was arrested last month near Heathrow, the busiest airport in London, after a protest demonstration by Heathrow Break. This group – born in the wake of Extinction Rebellion and opposing the construction of a third runway at Heathrow airport – hoped to disrupt air traffic by piloting drones in its proximity.
But they were not able to operate the devices, which had led them to claim that the police had used jamming devices.
The Metropolitan Police has taken steps to try to minimize the impact of Extinction Rebellion events, which last week launched a two-week mobilization to denounce the climate crisis.
In total, 1,336 people have been arrested since the beginning of this mobilization, police said on Monday. Among them, a man dressed as broccoli.
On Saturday at least 400 demonstrators occupied the Place Royale square as part of the “Royal Rebellion,” a staged act of protest to call on urgent environmental action in the face of what the group deem a looming “climate breakdown.”
The demonstration was one of a string of similar protests taking place worldwide which saw members and sympathisers of the environmental action group stage disruptive protests in an effort to denounce political inaction on climate change.
The gathering quickly turned rowdy, with a total of 435 demonstrators arrested as police made use of pepper spray and water cannons to dislodge protesters blocking the routes of several tram lines that pass through the square.