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Climate protester arrested for cycling on RNAS Yeovilton runway


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Mr Maunder cycled on to the airfield on Saturday to highlight climate change

An environmental protester was arrested after cycling on to a naval airbase runway to highlight an “immoral celebration of military might”.

Extinction Rebellion member Christopher Maunder broke into the grounds during RNAS Yeovilton’s Air Day on Saturday.

“Flying planes is a damaging thing to do anyway, flying them just for entertainment is immoral at this time,” he said.

Avon and Somerset Police said he was arrested for aggravated trespass.

‘Death and destruction’

He was reported for summons to magistrates court at a date yet to be fixed, the force added.

The Royal Navy has been approached for comment.

The annual air day event attracts 40,000 people to the naval base to see flying displays from military aircraft from around the world.

Mr Maunder, from Norton-sub-Hamdon near Yeovil, said: “We shouldn’t be flying across the world to travel anywhere and we really shouldn’t be flying military aircraft which is used to kill people.

“They are used to bring death and destruction and by their mere use they are damaging the atmosphere within which we live.

“Really, what is there to celebrate or find entertaining?”

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Christopher Maunder

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Christopher Maunder was tackled by armed services personnel before his arrest

He said he had climbed a low fence to get on to the airbase.

“Before I accessed the airfield we rung the airfield to tell them we were about to do it, and ensure no-one was about to take off or no planes were flying,” he added.

The Extinction Rebellion group in south Somerset said it was unaware of Mr Maunder’s protest plan and had not sanctioned it.



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