Climate activists are disrupting the reopening of Orly Airport in Paris

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PARIS (AP) – Twenty-nine environmentalists were arrested Friday after hitting an airstrip at Orly Airport in Paris to protest aircraft emissions – just hours after the airport first reopened since the virus pandemic three months ago. most air travel grounded.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists demanded that France’s domestic flights be stopped immediately due to the high CO2 emissions they cause.

The protesters broke into the airport at 10 a.m. after alerting guards to their presence, said Franck, an on-site XR activist who declined to give his full name for fear of retaliation by authorities.

The activists lit red smoke as they walked to the runway to indicate their presence to the surrounding aircraft. Several pairs of protesters tied themselves by the neck to complicate their eventual arrest, Franck said.

Police officers arrived about 30 minutes later, and most activists were arrested or left, he told The Associated Press. Police said 29 people were being held. Franck said there was a journalist there.

One flight was delayed by a few hours, and others were diverted to other runways, an airport official said was not authorized to be called public. Other traffic was not affected, the official said, adding that the airport is bringing charges against the activists.

The French finance minister recently called for the reduction of domestic air routes to encourage train travel instead, and environmental groups want the country to go even further and ban all domestic air travel.

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