Four teenage climate-change protesters at Heathrow were warned by police that they must leave the entrance area to the airport tunnel or face arrest.
Footage taken by The Independent captured the moments when Metropolitan Police officers confronted protesters from Extinction Rebellion Youth with a stark choice.
As the four, aged between 13 and 17, sang an unusual rendition of “Power to the people,” chief inspector Jack May-Robinson, a senior Metropolitan Police officer, warned them of imminent arrest.
“You are currently trespassing and have been asked to leave Heathrow airport," he said. "You are continuing to remain as a trespasser, committing a prohibited act under bylaw 3.12.”
This is part of the airport’s special legislation dating from 2014. It stipulates: “No person shall remain on the Airport, after having been requested by a Constable or an Airport Official to leave.”
But four protesters refused to move. They were Oscar Idle, 17, from Oxford; Elijah McKenzie-Jackson, 15, from Walthamstow, east London; Samar, 14, from north London; and the youngest, Mia, 13, from south London.
Chief inspector May-Robinson continued: “If you do not comply, you commit an offence. You will be liable to arrest for that offence.”
A female police officer told Mia: “I am giving you one last opportunity to leave now, or you get arrested. You are free to leave now.
"You can continue your protest up the road. We’re not stopping you protesting, we’re giving you an alternative.
The four remained in place and sat down with their a banner reading “Are we the last generation?”
After a stand-off that lasted for 90 minutes, the four left voluntarily.