London City Airport braces for possible shutdown by Extinction Rebellion protesters

Stanley Johnson, second right, father of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaks at an Extinction Rebellion panel on climate change at Trafalgar Square in London on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (AP)
Updated 10 October 2019

London City Airport braces for possible shutdown by Extinction Rebellion protesters

  • About 18,000 passengers are due to arrive or depart from London City Airport, with 286 flights scheduled
  • Extinction Rebellion has targeted government buildings over the last few days

LONDON: London City Airport was braced for disruption on Thursday after climate-change protesters Extinction Rebellion vowed to occupy its terminal and shut down operations for three days as part of its action in the British capital.
London City is the capital’s fifth-biggest — and most central — airport, popular with business travelers, bankers and politicians for short-haul and regional routes.
On Thursday, 18,000 passengers are due to arrive or depart from the airport, with 286 flights scheduled.
Extinction Rebellion, which has targeted government buildings including the Cabinet Office in Whitehall over the last few days, said protesters would lie, sit or glue themselves to “nonviolently use their bodies to close the airport.”


They said they were protesting plans to expand the airport, which aims to have 6.5 million passengers a year by 2022, compared to the 4.8 million in 2018, and which has said there could be demand for as many as 11 million a year by 2035.
“Air travel is an icon of our fragile ‘just-in-time’ economic system. That system will break, as Climate Chaos hits,” group spokesman Rupert Read said in a statement.
“By non-violently shutting down this airport... we are demonstrating the utter frailty of the transport systems that countries such as ours, unwisely, have come to depend upon.”
London police have made hundreds of arrests as the protesters, labelled “un-cooperative crusties” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, began two weeks of civil disobedience.
London City Airport said it was working with police to prepare for the protests.
“Our shared priority is the safe operation of the airport and to minimize disruption for passengers using the airport over the coming days,” a spokesman said.
All passengers traveling for the rest of this week will have to show their boarding passes to access the terminal.
Extinction Rebellion said that if protesters do not make it into the airport itself, they will occupy the neighboring Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station and access road to blockade it from the outside.
The airport said it is “committed to building a more sustainable future for the airport and the aviation industry” and has said that it will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

 


Seoul mulls electronic wristbands for quarantine violators 

Updated 08 April 2020

Seoul mulls electronic wristbands for quarantine violators 

  • Repeat offenders face $8,000 fines or up to one year in prison

SEOUL: South Korea is considering electronic wristbands as a way to track people who break quarantine conditions amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The idea follows a rising number of people flouting the rules, leaving their homes despite the government’s tough stance against violations.

South Korea reported 53 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the nation’s total number of infections to 10,384, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while the total number of reported deaths rose to 200. 

“A majority of people are following self-isolation rules, but there have been some cases of (people) leaving (designated venues),” Yoon Tae-ho, director-general for public health policy at the Ministry of Health, told reporters. “Unless the self-isolation rules are observed, it will make the government consider various options to prevent such a move.”

Authorities were looking for practical and effective ways to monitor people isolated at homes and facilities, he said, adding there were concerns about electronic wristbands in terms of privacy and the infringements of rights.

The electronic wristband, which would be connected to a mobile app, would trigger an alarm and alert authorities when it moved more than 10 meters away from the smartphone installed with the app, ministry officials said.

South Korea has a two-week quarantine period for all international arrivals. Authorities have found 75 people breaching the self-isolation rules, and six of them are to be prosecuted.

The government has increased penalties for quarantine violators to a maximum one-year jail term or $8,000 in fines.

Several people, including foreign nationals, have in recent weeks broken the self-isolation rules put in place to combat the spread of coronavirus. 

The city of Gunpo, south of Seoul, reported a married couple in their 50s to the police for ignoring the rules. Health authorities found that the couple, who had tested positive for the virus, went out several times during the self-isolation period to visit an art gallery, lottery shops, supermarkets, and banks.  

In Gunsan, around 270 kilometers south of Seoul, three Vietnamese students were found leaving their quarantine premises without permission on April 3. They went out, leaving their smartphones behind to avoid being tracked by the authorities. The Ministry of Justice is now considering deporting the students.