Extinction Rebellion (XR) has mounted a protest at London-Luton Airport (LTN) by blocking the entrance to private jet terminals.
Campaigners from the group arrived on Tuesday morning (February 14, 2023) at the Harrods Aviation and Signature private jet terminals with banners.
XR dubbed its Valentine’s Day protest, “Love in Action” citing the rise in private jet flights at this time of year for romantic getaways as the reason for the blockade.
The campaigner’s famous blue boat, Polly Higgins, was photographed parked outside terminal gates and there are reports some protesters have barricaded the Harrods lounge entrance.
“Valentine’s Day should not have to cost the Earth, or the taxpayer. The people want a ban on private jets, as Climate Assembly UK demonstrated in 2020. But nothing has been done. I can only assume the government has ignored the will of the people to protect the interests of their rich mates. We are here today to make them listen,” said former airline pilot-turned climate activist, Todd Smith.
The group are also inviting people to join it at the UK Parliament from April 21, 2023, to be “part of 100,000 people calling for a citizen-led transition away from fossil fuels.”
Luton Airport management confirmed that the “peaceful protest” taking place away from the main terminal is not causing any disruption to travellers.
The protest is reportedly part of a global co-ordinated action launched last week by climate activists across 11 countries, which is targeting multiple sites in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
On February 13, 2023, Extinction Rebellion Belgium protested at Brussels Airport (BRU) by also blocking the entrance to a private jet terminal.
Campaigners from XR Belgium, plus an additional group called Scientist Rebellion, gathered at the terminal holding banners.
In photos shared by the group, protesters could be seen sat on the floor with tape covering their mouths as a man pulling a suitcase approaches the terminal.
Messages on signs included “Your luxury = our collapse” and “Your luxury will cost us the earth”.
According to XR Belgium the protest comes at a time when Brussels is seeing a record number of private jet landings for AIROPS23, an event held for “business aviation flight operations professionals”.
In one Tweet XR Belgium claim, “1% of the global population produces 50% of all flight emissions, and private jets – at a min of €5,000 per hour flying – emit up to 20 times more per person compared to commercial flights.”
The group is understood to have three key demands; to ban private jets, tax frequent flyers, and make those who pollute the most, pay the most.
In other photos shared on social media two police officers can be seen approaching the protesters with one carrying a helmet.
Extinction Rebellion are a global protesting movement that often adopt disruptive forms of campaigning such as blocking roads or storming government buildings.
The group says the planet is facing an “unprecedented global emergency” and life on earth is in “crisis”.
Aerotime has approached Brussels Airport and the local police in Belgium and the UK for comment.