Extinction Rebellion London activists chained to Jeremy Corbyn's home


18th April, 2019 10:29:44 printer

Extinction Rebellion London activists chained to Jeremy Corbyn's home

Extinction Rebellion protesters have been blocking traffic at Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge, Parliament Square and Oxford Circus since Monday.

Earlier, three activists were glued to a Docklands Light Railway (DLR) train at Canary Wharf, causing minor delays.

Four people also glued themselves together at the Labour leader's home.

The activists, who also used a bike lock to attach themselves to Mr Corbyn's north London house, said they supported him but wanted the Labour Party to go further than declaring a "climate emergency".

After ending their protest Tracee Williams, one of the group, said she did not think the action was a "misstep but whether we'd do it again, I'm not so sure".

Mr Corbyn left his home but declined to meet or speak to any of the protesters.

Easter eggs and flowers from the group, which had been taken into Mr Corbyn's home earlier, were later returned to the street by the Labour leader's wife Laura Alvarez.

Ms Williams added the group "really felt we had to bring it to his front door" but "feel absolutely terrible about upsetting his wife".

As of 17:00 BST, 340 people have been arrested since Monday over the protests, the Met Police said.

The campaigner who glued himself to a train window was removed about an hour after the start of the DLR protest, at about 10:50.

The man and a woman who unfurled a banner and glued themselves to the top of the train's carriage were also later removed and carried off by officers.

BTP said three people had been arrested for obstructing the railway.

Extinction Rebellion targeted the DLR after members changed their minds about disrupting the Tube network.

It came after BTP ordered Transport for London (TfL) to switch off wifi at Tube stations to deter protests.

Supt Matt Allingham said extra officers would be on duty throughout the day, adding: "We will not tolerate any activity which disrupts the millions of passengers who rely on using the rail network in London."

Campaigners at Waterloo Bridge, Parliament Square and Oxford Circus have been ordered to restrict their protests to Marble Arch.

The Met said protesters were being removed from both areas and those who did not comply would be arrested.

How do you unglue a protester?

The Metropolitan Police says it uses a "fluid de-bonding agent" - but refuses to specify what that contains for operational reasons.

Dr Mark Elliott, a senior lecturer in organic chemistry at Cardiff University, said warm, soapy water or the compound acetone would be the most suitable method - but warned any removal was likely to be painful.

"Anyone who has inadvertently stuck their fingers together with superglue will know how difficult and painful it can be to separate then - and the fingertips are relatively tough," he says.

"It is even more painful when other, softer, areas of skin become bonded."

According to Dr Elliott, the general advice is to use warm, soapy water, then to apply gentle pressure - for example by inserting a spatula.

"This will inevitably take time and be rather painful," he warned.

Alternatively, acetone - normally found in nail-varnish remover - can make it easier to remove the glue - but "easier", he adds, "is very much a relative term".