A plane departing from London City Airport was grounded after a protester climbed onto its roof as part of wider climate change demonstrations.

Happening on the fourth day of the Extinction Rebellion demonstrations, it was revealed the man involved in the grounding was former Paralympic cyclist James Brown. The vision impaired cyclist for the GB team was identified on a video he shared to Facebook.

Brown who was able to get access to the runway, climbed aboard the fuselage of the flight to Amsterdam and refused to move.

Livestreaming the event to a facebook page associated with the activist group, he announced his intentions to delay the flight.

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"I hate heights, I'm sh*****g myself," he said.

However the athlete and former competitor at the London 2012 games was able to get on top of the plane, in spite of fears.

#PlanetaryEmergency

✈️ LIVE from London City Airport - James Brown, paraolympian, atop a British Airways plane on the runway at City airport London. #PlanetaryEmergency 1000 children are already dying each day around the world due to climate change. Nearly 9,500 people die in London each year due to breathing toxic air pollution day in day out - that’s 26 per day. #ClimateAndEcologicalBreakdown In 2010, the aviation industry carried 2.4 billion passengers; in 2050, that number is forecast to rise to 16 billion. Without action, emissions from increased air travel will triple by 2050.” WWF “And carbon emissions are not the only environmental challenge posed by a growing aviation sector. Nitrogen oxides, particulates, noise, and lead pollution also impact often disadvantaged communities living near airports.” - The International Council on Clean Transportation. #SocialCollapse The Climate and Ecological Crisis is already driving mass forced migration, droughts, famines, death and wars over resources. What is already a nightmare for many in the Global South threatens to engulf us all. #SocialJustice Acting now on the emergency means changing our relationship to air travel and inequality. 80% of the world's population has never taken a flight. 97% didn't fly last year. A short-haul return flight from London to Edinburgh contributes more CO2 than the mean annual emissions of a person in Uganda. #Inequality In the UK, according to the latest Department for Transport data: the top 1% of frequent fliers took 20% of all flights last year, the top 10% took over 50% of all flights, the top 15% took over 70%, and 48% of Brits did not fly at all last year. The average salary of passengers using City Airport is over £100,000 a year, yet the airport surrounded by some of the most impoverished homes in the country - people much less likely to have the means to use the airport. #FoodSecurity As we face an ecological and climate crisis, Governments worldwide insist on exponentially increasing an exploitative economy, with 600 airports set to expand, increasing flights by billions globally. This will lead toward ever increasing temperatures globally, causing widespread crop failures, which is already a dire situation in many African regions, making it almost impossible to grow food in the tropics and leaving a vast part of the Earth uninhabitable. #TheMomentOfTruth It is time for planet-wide civil disobedience and mass direct action. It is time to rebel for life! We need YOU! JOIN THE REBELLION!!!

Posted by Extinction Rebellion UK on Thursday, 10 October 2019

He remained there until runway firefighters were able to safely remove him from his position.

However, not before he was able to broadcast his message:

"This is all about the climate and ecological crisis. We're protesting against government inaction on climate and ecological breakdown. They declare a climate emergency then do nothing about it," he said in a recording that has been seen almost 70,000 times.

In a separate incident on a flight to Dublin, BBC politics editor Nicholas Watt tweeted that his plane was grounded while an activist stood up and lectured passengers while the crew were preparing for take-off.

"Air travel is an icon of our fragile 'just in time' economic system," said a spokesperson for the group, Rupert Read in a statement to Reuters.

"That system will break, as Climate Chaos hits."

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So far more than 500 protesters have been arrested as part of demonstrations across the city.


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