Day the eco-zealots targeted working people was the day the climate change protests went down the tubes.

FIRST thing yesterday and everybody was talking about the big political struggle of the morning.

Not the latest round in the battle for Brexit, but the ­violent tussles between Extinction Rebellion protesters and angry London commuters at Canning Town underground station in East London.

 Yesterday, Londoners showed the amazed eco-zealots exactly what we thought of their attempts to bring the Tube to a halt

Yesterday, Londoners showed the amazed eco-zealots exactly what we thought of their attempts to bring the Tube to a haltCredit: PA:Press Association

And like those other passengers packed on the platform, Londoners were cheering the working-class commuters who showed the amazed eco-zealots exactly what we thought of their attempts to bring the Tube to a halt.

Videos of the events, which quickly went viral and around the globe, revealed the activists climbing on top of an early train with a banner declaring “Business as usual = death”.

Certain that they were untouchable in their sanctimonious perch on the moral high ground, they looked down on the growing crowd of stranded commuters below.

ABSOLUTE FURY

But the self-righteous XR fantasists had made a big ­mistake, as they discovered when the frustrated commuters brought them back down to earth with a bump — and a few choice words besides.

The people of London — not to mention the Met Police — have been extraordinarily tolerant of the Extinction Rebellion protests creating chaos around affluent Westminster and Whitehall in recent weeks.

Many have told the media that they sympathise with the protest’s aims, while grumbling about the inconvenience of trying to cross bridges closed by police so that protesters could pitch their tents in the road.

Even the Smithfield meat traders managed to refrain from filleting the pompous vegans who occupied the famous market to lecture them about the supposed evils of meat-eating.

But yesterday, on a pre-dawn platform in the East End, London’s patience finally cracked.

The people of London — not to mention the Met Police — have been extraordinarily tolerant of the Extinction Rebellion protests.

The message from the rebelling masses was clear: Protest all you like — but try to mess with our grim morning slog to work and we’ll take you down!

When one commuter started to climb up to remonstrate, the bearded, middle-aged protester atop the train kicked him in the face.

Cue absolute fury, as would-be passengers pulled the activist down to the ­platform and made their views known to him in no uncertain terms.

The eco-activist group claimed they had targeted Tube and Docklands Light Railway trains that were “heading for the City which is the God of our times”.

But in targeting Canning Town, the middle-class activists demonstrated that their arrogance is only exceeded by their ignorance.

Those of us who travel on packed and unpleasant early-morning tubes out of East London know that our fellow commuters are far more likely to be builders and cleaners than bankers and City fat cats.

 XR protesters sparked fury when they targeted working people, prompting would-be passengers to pull the activists down to the platform and make their views known

XR protesters sparked fury when they targeted working people, prompting would-be passengers to pull the activists down to the platform and make their views knownCredit: Ruckas Pictures

 By targeting Canning Town, the middle-class activists demonstrated that their arrogance is only exceeded by their ignorance

By targeting Canning Town, the middle-class activists demonstrated that their arrogance is only exceeded by their ignoranceCredit: Ruckas Pictures

 Never mind the ‘rebellion’ of time-rich poseurs swanning around in a protest-performance that absolutely no one understands

Never mind the ‘rebellion’ of time-rich poseurs swanning around in a protest-performance that absolutely no one understandsCredit: Alamy Live News

Despite some patchy gentrification, Canning Town is still largely a multi-ethnic working class corner of the capital.

Most of the tired, fed-up people queuing for a pre-dawn train to work will be paid by the hour. If they are late, they don’t get paid and could easily get fired.

We have a proud tradition of street protest and political rebellion, stretching back ­hundreds of years.

Brits generally recognise that people have the right to protest, whatever we might think of their political aims.

But hard-working people will draw the line at having their livelihoods put at risk by misguided petit-bourgeois virtue-signalling.

And it is surely a sign that the zealots have lost the argument when they resort to tactics such as this.

What did they think they were doing by disrupting the electricity-powered Tube?

Aren’t these among the most eco-friendly forms of public transport?

Brits generally recognise that people have the right to protest, whatever we might think of their political aims.

Would they rather everybody abandoned the trains and drove cars to the office? (Sorry, but cycling to work at dawn is not an option for most of us.)

Or should we just give up working altogether, as many of them appear to have done?

EXECRABLE IDIOTS

Comment of the day goes to the angry commuter filmed demanding to know why the XR eco-zealots were opposing London’s low-carbon electric public transport system: “Are you that f***ing ­stupid? No wonder you can’t get jobs.”

The clash at Canning Town revealed the gap between the fantasy world of a few crusaders who claim to be saving the planet on our behalf, and the real world where the rest of us have to live and work for a living.

Never mind the “rebellion” of time-rich XR poseurs dressed in arty red costumes with whitened faces, swanning about the blocked streets of central London in a protest-performance that nobody understands but we’re all meant to bow down before.

The Canning Town response to the XR stunt was a real, spontaneous people’s rebellion by ordinary commuters who have had enough of being treated as ignorant planet-polluters for the crime of going to work.

All power to the Canning Town rebellion against Extinction Rebellion!

London now stands with the crowd on the Tube platform — and not the execrable idiots on the train roof.

 Mick Hume is author of Revolting! How The Establishment Are Undermining Democracy And What They’re Afraid Of, published by William Collins

Mick Hume is author of Revolting! How The Establishment Are Undermining Democracy And What They’re Afraid Of, published by William CollinsCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd


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