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Extinction Rebellion campaigners outside aviation conference warn of impact of cheap flights

Tell the plane truth, plead protesters

06 September, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

Campaigners at the Business Design Centre urged the aviation industry to take action to reduce flights and emissions

EXTINCTION Rebellion activists railed against an aviation convention taking place in Islington this week saying it “flies in the face” of efforts to tackle climate change.

Eco-warriors lined the streets outside the Business Design Centre in Angel as the World Aviation Festival was held in what used to be the Royal Agricultural Hall.

Protesters said they were appalled by the fact that none of the speakers taking the stage at the lucrative event would be addressing the impact that cheap commercial flying has on the environment.

Chief executives from major airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, EasyJet and Emirates were among 400 bigwigs due to speak.

XR member Lola Perrin, who co-organised the protest, said: “The World Aviation Festival flies in the face of global efforts to address climate breakdown.

“This is despite in­creased frequency and severity of extreme, climate-related disasters that can already be seen across the world.

“Extinction Rebellion calls on the aviation industry to change the conversation, tell the truth about the climate emergency and reduce flights and emissions.”

On Wednesday morning, actors gathered outside performed a play, Plane Truth, about the “real cost of flying” before flag-bearing protesters marched through the streets.

XR is a loose collection of people throughout the world who use civil disobedience tactics to push climate change issues up the social and political agenda.

The group caused mass disruption in central London this summer when their protests closed down major junctions.

The World Aviation Festival finishes today (Friday) after running for three days at the Upper Street centre.

Islington Council ann­ounced a climate emergency earlier this year. But it is understood that XR members are not happy with what they believe is a lack of action to back up the rhetoric coming from the town hall.

Sources said that more disruptive protests could take place across the borough in coming weeks.

The design centre and World Aviation Festival were contacted for comment but did not respond.

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