A climatic activist group's reported promise to "shut down" Europe's busiest airport on Friday became a flop when few handfuls of people appeared – and were quickly surrounded by police officers.
Videos circulating on social media showed British policemen standing in a ring around activists from the Extinction Rebellion group, while cars flowed a few meters away – undeterred – to London's Heathrow airport. The group, which has twisted traffic and public transit in Britain's capital this week through a series of blockades and protests, has tried to force the British Parliament to accept their demands for climate action.
"Tomorrow we are going up the bar. We have to shut down Heathrow," said the group despite its supporters Thursday according to LBC radio station .
Yet only a small number estimated to be less than 20 – and all Extinction Rebellion claims were under the age of 17 – made it to the airport on Friday. Some, in a video grouped the stream on Facebook, were in tears after the police arrived.
BRITISH COPS FILMED DANCING WITH CLIMATE PROTESTERS BLASTES BY THE BOSSES FOR UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR & # 39;
"I shouldn't be here, I should revise for my final exams," says Talia Woodin, a college student, to The Guardian newspaper. "But I have to be here. What good is a degree if there is a possibility that there is no future?"
"I'm Mia, I am 13," Extinction Rebellion's site quoted a another teenager as said. "I do this because something needs to be changed, I am told to make decisions about my future when it cannot even be guaranteed that the Earth has one."
At the end of Friday afternoon in Heathrow, traffic was still flowing smoothly. It is not clear whether the protesters have anything planned for later in the evening.
But London is where they have been more successful and draws attention to their demands, which means that British Parliament "is now acting to stop the loss of biodiversity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025" while pushing Parliament to "create and be led by a citizen's resolutions on climate and ecological justice."
Metropolitan Police said from Friday morning, 570 arrests in connection with the protests have been made.
"The protesters use tactics to lie on the ground as they approach," police said in a statement. "That means it takes at least four officers to remove a person to ensure their safety, which is resource intensive."
Police officers have also decided to cancel officers' planned holidays to be able to get all hands on deck this Easter weekend to handle the ongoing demonstrations.
Metropolitan says "we have now asked city officers to work 12 hours shift; We have canceled rest and our offense group has interrupted their leave. This allows us to release a significant number of officers while responding to local police. "
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A person on Twitter, who identified himself as a British police officer, deplored the decision while protesting against the effects of their actions, as some have said, are not so environmentally friendly.
"My valuable # Easter holiday with my family, which I have not been able to see for a while, does not happen because my rest days have been canceled for the protests", tweeted . "To make it worse, due to start time, I have to drive to work and therefore increase my carbon footprint."