Furious well-heeled New Yorkers erupt in fury as they’re blocked from entering heliport in New York City by Extinction Rebellion protesters
- Brazen protesters held banners and posters reading ‘destroy futures’ and ‘life or death,’ while standing strong along the entrance on West 30th Street
- Irate helicopter and ground staff were seen frantically trying to organize how their clients would get on and off the helicopter pad during the disruption
Furious well-heeled New Yorkers erupted in fury as they were blocked from entering a heliport in New York City by angry Extinction Rebellion demonstrators.
The noisy blockage at the VIP Heliport lasted an hour and a half – and six people were arrested for causing the disruption in Chelsea on Wednesday.
Brazen protesters held banners and posters reading ‘destroy futures’ and ‘life or death,’ while standing strong along the entrance on West 30th Street.
The eco warriors also held strollers children’s toys while on the picket line – which members of Extinction Rebellion said ‘symbolized what is at stake, the livelihoods of our children and our families.’
Swathes of flyers arriving at the pad were greeted by the protest. Families with small children attempted to get through the human wall to make their helicopter flights.
Irate helicopter and ground staff were seen frantically trying to organize how their luxury clients would get on and off the helicopter pad during the disruption.
As one SUV attempted to drive up to pick a customer up, it was blocked by the XR protesters who briefly got into a spat with an angry security guard working on site.
One woman, wearing Louboutin heels, bypassed the crowd with her luggage as another businessman in a suit holding a Louis Vuitton bag quickly hurried towards the entrance.
Helicopters kept landing at the VIP pad on West 30th Street – which is run by Blade.
The helicopter service claims they can fly choppers from Manhattan to JFK and Newark airports within five minutes – as well as flying paying customers to the Hamptons and parts of New England.
One seat on a Blade helicopter flying from the Helipad to JFK Airport costs $195.
Clips showed NYPD officers arresting and handcuffing demonstrators while their comrades continued to shout and chant in the background.
‘Luxury emissions destroy our future,’ the group chanted while parading by the entrance to the Helipad in Manhattan.
They continued in unison: ‘Helicopters, private planes, your emissions are insane.’
Blade said that they ‘continue to purchase offsets to counteract the carbon emissions generated by our urban air mobility services to remain carbon neutral as a company.’
XR said in a statement after the ordeal: ‘At 3:15 pm on Wednesday, September 13th, activists from Extinction Rebellion disrupted private helicopter takeoffs at JRA West 30th Street Heliport Airport, disrupting flights the same way severe storms would.
‘Protestors warned that there are ‘no luxury emissions on a dead planet’, and demanded an end to fossil fuels.
‘The group, with baby strollers and soft toys, blocked the main entrance using lock-ons, and held banners with the words ‘LUXURY EMISSIONS DESTROY FUTURES’.
‘The main entrance was blocked for 90 minutes and 6 people were arrested.’
They added: ‘Blade Air Mobility, Inc the company that operates many of the flights out of Manhattan heliports, has committed (in word only) to purchasing electric helicopters to replace their current fossil fuel powered fleet.
‘This crisis is life-threatening, and it’s time we approach it as such.
‘New York weather is rapidly approaching a point where helicopters won’t be able to safely fly — electric or not.’
Laura Robertson, an Extinction Rebellion activist, said: ‘Why are we doing this? Because nothing else has worked. There have been twenty-seven COP conferences.
‘There is no time left, ecologically, for the super rich to continue pumping out emissions. There is no time left for outsized carbon footprints.’
‘Helicopters are a pestilence to New Yorkers and a rotten pinnacle of an economic system that places pleasure over planetary survival. We must stop them,’ added Charles Komanoff, bicycle activist and transportation analyst.
Emma Jacobs, an Extinction Rebellion spokesperson said: ‘A livable future for our children is being jeopardized by luxury carbon emissions.
‘The strollers and the toys symbolize what is at stake — the livelihoods of our children and our families.
‘It’s contributing to the breakdown of food systems, to drought and famine, to 1 billion climate refugees by 2050.
‘Is an extravagant lifestyle worth risking the loss of all life on Earth?’