Sadiq Khan quizzed by Susan Hall over protestors
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The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was grilled over the Extinction Rebellion protests as he was urged to do something about the disruption it causes people in the capital. Leader of GLA Conservatives Susan Hall recalled how her constituents in Harrow could not attend hospital appointments due to the blocking of streets. While Mr Khan agreed the recent protests have been a “challenge”, he added that he believes in the right to a peaceful protest.
During the Mayor’s Question Time, Ms Hall said: “The amount of people who were saying they couldn’t get to their hospital appointments.
“They couldn’t do what they wanted to do because they’re disabled and whilst other members say ‘it’s a little bit disruptive’.
“It’s very disruptive if you are disabled or if you are trying to get to a hospital appointment.
“I’ve got copies of people desperate because they can’t.
“I know you went on LBC the other day saying that you think they’re damaging their own cause.
“I would really like to hear what you think they’re doing for disabled people and people who need to get to very important meetings or hospital appointments and they’re disrupted by these people.”
Mr Khan responded: “The questions from the last two members explains the challenges the police face of a regular basis.
“I think what you’re articulating are some of the consequences of protest having adverse consequences on some people.
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“I’ll give you some examples; you mentioned constituents. If you are stopping travel on bridges, what about the blue light services have to got to receive someone in desperate need of either police, a fire engine or an ambulance.
“If you’re standing on top of a tube train, it’s dangerous but similarly you’re stopping people from getting to appointments.
“I am someone who believes passionately about the right to a peaceful protest but it should be down peacefully, lawfully and in a safe way.”
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It comes as Environmental activists will be holding a series of protests along the HS2 line on Thursday as they urge the Government to “pull the emergency brakes” on the project.
HS2 Rebellion, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, say protest events are set to commence at 9am in multiple locations along the route of the high-speed rail project, including Euston, Buckinghamshire and Cheshire.
The series of demonstrations will include marches, speeches, presentations, and street theatre.
The action comes ahead of a debate in Parliament on September 13 to discuss a petition calling for HS2 to be stopped, with the group warning the project is incompatible with the country’s carbon neutral targets.
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