Extinction Rebellion activists have blockaded the BBC’s central London headquarters, where the main BBC News studio is based, accusing the corporation of being silent about climate change.
Banners carried by protesters called for the BBC – and the wider media – to “tell the truth” about the climate crisis. The group has called for the UK to go carbon neutral by 2025 and establish a citizen’s assembly.
BBC staff reported being unable to get in to Broadcasting House this morning as dozens of protesters camped outside the main entrance.
Financial journalist Paul Lewis reported being barred from entering the building near Oxford Circus Tube station, tweeting: “No one in no one out. Locked down.”
Radio 5 Live presenter Nihal Arthanayake said one of the protestors had “glued herself to the revolving door” at the entrance to the building. The area can be seen in the background of The One Show.
— Nihal Arthanayake (@TherealNihal) October 11, 2019
The scene at our front door pic.twitter.com/3PfNTmNwHq
— Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) October 11, 2019
A statute of George Orwell outside Broadcasting House has been adorned with a blue Extinction Rebellion-branded flag.
The demonstration is the latest in a week of planned protests which has already seen more than 1,000 people arrested since Monday.
In a video posted on the official Extinction Rebellion UK Twitter feed, a man can be heard describing protesters outside the BBC as “courageous rebels” who are “sitting in and holding the BBC responsible for their silence, because BBC your silence is killing us”.
BBC News has given coverage to the group’s protests in Westminster over the previous few days.
A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC already covers many climate change and environmental issues across its output.
“Programmes like Blue Planet II and Climate Change: The Facts have had a huge impact on the public debate both in this country and around the world.
“We know how important these issues are to audiences and will continue to focus on them across both news and non-news programmes, whilst internally doing all we can to lead the way in promoting sustainability in the media industry.”
On Thursday, demonstrations focused on London City Airport, where protesters attempted a “Hong Kong-style occupation” of the terminal building, with hundreds blocking the main entrance.
One demonstrator, former Paralympic cyclist James Brown, climbed on top of a British Airways jet, prompting criticism from Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who described the act as “reckless, stupid and dangerous”.
Picture: Caspar Hughes/Twitter/PA Wire