An Extinction Rebellion protest at Gatwick on Thursday was called off after other protestors came under attack from commuters during a stand-off on the London transport system.
Climate change activists had planned to gather at Gatwick’s South Terminal on Thursday morning to ‘indulge in a bit of mischief’ and give a ‘wake-up call’ to the airport.
But the action was postponed after protests on the London transport system turned violent.
A small number of people still met in the airport and handed out leaflets but were discouraged from wearing any Extinction Rebellion branding.
According to local media, there was a huge police presence at the airport in preparation for the protest.
Extinction Rebellion said it was taking stock of the reaction to its protests on the London Underground.
Activists climbed on to trains at Stratford, Canning Town and Shadwell during Thursday’s rush hour but angry commuters dragged them down.
One of the protestors was seen, in video footage, kicking out at a commuter as he was grabbed by the leg.
A statement by Extinction Rebellion said: “We would like to express our sadness that events escalated this way.
“We are aware that one of our activists responded in self defence in a moment of panic when confronted by a threatening situation. He acknowledges his accountability for this action and we offer gratitude for members of the public who helped to protect him.
“To those that engaged in violence, we acknowledge that we disrupted your life today.
“Rather than let this incident divide – at this moment of heightened attention – we think it is right to reach out to you, to invite you to have a conversation about what happened today.
“In light of today’s events, Extinction Rebellion will be looking at ways to bring people together rather than create an unnecessary division.”
Around 1,000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square for a peaceful protest on Thursday night.