Protesters shut London King’s Cross and Manchester Piccadilly

March 11th, 20188:33 pm @

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  • Anti-Turkey protesters stormed London King’s Cross and Manchester Piccadilly
  • Demonstrators were kept out of the London station by police barricading doors
  • Photos of them on tracks with signs saying ‘Stop Turkey helping ISIS terrorists’ 

Connor Boyd

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Dianne Apen-sadler For Mailonline

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King’s Cross in London was closed tonight amid pro-Kurdish demonstrations which saw Manchester Piccadilly shut earlier in the day.

Police in central London were forced to barricade the railway station’s entrances as anti-Turkey protesters tried to barge their way inside.

The demonstration came after a crowd of people rushed onto tracks at Manchester Piccadilly causing dozens of trains to be stopped.

Photos and video on social media show protesters being blocked from entering King’s Cross as officers form a human wall at the station’s doors.

Scroll down for video 

King's Cross in London has been closed amid pro-Kurdish demonstrations which saw Manchester Piccadilly shut earlier today

King’s Cross in London has been closed amid pro-Kurdish demonstrations which saw Manchester Piccadilly shut earlier today

According to National Rail, there is only one exit currently functioning at King's Cross station as police address the chaos

According to National Rail, there is only one exit currently functioning at King’s Cross station as police address the chaos

Other pictures show protesters waving flags and marching in front of vehicles in the middle of the road in central London.

At 7.20pm, around an hour after initially closing, National Rail tweeted that the station had reopened, saying police had dealt with the chaos.

The tweet read: ‘CLEARED: Trains are now running normally to and from London Kings Cross now that police have successfully dealt with a large protest outside this station.’

The demonstration in London came hours after a similar protest forced the closure of Manchester Piccadilly railway station and similar events have been reported across Europe. 

Social media users said the demonstrators were protesting against ‘Turkey’s invasion of Kurds in Syria’.

Photos on social media show the demonstrators protesting in front of buses and cars a they waved flags in the middle of the road at King's Cross Station in London

Photos on social media show the demonstrators protesting in front of buses and cars a they waved flags in the middle of the road at King’s Cross Station in London

National Rail tweeted at 7.20pm to say 'police had successfully dealt with large protests outside' 

National Rail tweeted at 7.20pm to say ‘police had successfully dealt with large protests outside’ 

The protests caused travel chaos as trains were delayed hours after the stations reopened. National Rail said train delays at Manchester Piccadilly were expected until tomorrow

The protests caused travel chaos as trains were delayed hours after the stations reopened. National Rail said train delays at Manchester Piccadilly were expected until tomorrow

Services from Manchester’s main railway station were suspended for nearly three hours after protesters climbed on to the tracks leaving airport-bound travellers stranded.

Protesters, including young children, were photographed at Manchester Piccadilly waving Kurdish flags and signs saying ‘Stop Turkey from helping ISIS terrorists’.

One Twitter user claimed he had seen children and their mothers who were unable to catch a train to the airport in tears on the platform.

Although the station reopened at around 4pm, National Rail said disruptions would continue until the end of the day.

One commuter said he was shocked that protesters were risking the lives of young children by allowing them to jump on to the busy lines alongside them. 

Mark Johnes was stood on a platform when the protestors ran through the station and jumped down onto the busy lines.

He said: ‘The protestors went onto the tracks with their children and I was shocked to see the desperation to put their children’s lives at risk.

‘I asked them why they did that and they told me they have children who are dying in Turkey and they feel so much pain for their extended family in Turkey. 

Manchester Piccadilly was closed earlier today after anti-Turkey protesters climbed on to the tracks. It reopened at 4pm after the protesters left

Manchester Piccadilly was closed earlier today after anti-Turkey protesters climbed on to the tracks. It reopened at 4pm after the protesters left

‘I tried to reason with them and get them to remove themselves from the tracks for the sake of safety but they said they took a calculated risk as they know that the staff would turn off the power in an emergency.’

He added: ‘My main shock was at the racist abuse they received from fellow locals telling them to go back to their country.

‘In the end I spoke to one group and tried to help them understand that we are all victims of ISIS, at that point they began to share their stories and they embraced each other and apologised, that made me feel really happy.

One Twitter user claimed he had seen children and their mothers in tears on the platform after they were left unable to catch a train to the airport

One Twitter user claimed he had seen children and their mothers in tears on the platform after they were left unable to catch a train to the airport

‘I left at that point and hoped it would end well.’ 

Olivia Walker, 15, was travelling with her mother Sharon from Manchester to Hull after spending the weekend with her grandmother.

She told the MailOnline: ‘We’re obviously annoyed and we just want to get home but we’re not too bothered that it’s happened on Mother’s Day.’

One commuter caught up in the protest said: ‘We saw people walking on most of the tracks. It seemed pretty peaceful.

‘There were a lot of frustrated travellers and a lot of confusion about what was happening.’

British Transport Police confirmed on Twitter that they were attending the scene. 

Superintendent Mark Cleland from British Transport Police said: ‘While we appreciate and respect the right to peaceful protest, when this compromises the safety of the public and the protesters themselves, any offenders will attract the full investigative resources of BTP.

‘Those involved in this afternoon’s incident will be subject to intense investigation with a view to arrest and prosecution.

‘All protesters at Manchester Piccadilly have now been safely moved from the tracks and the station has reopened.

‘We will continue to maintain a police presence at this station and at other stations across the rail network.’  

There were scenes of chaos at Manchester's busiest station after all trains were either cancelled or delayed

There were scenes of chaos at Manchester’s busiest station after all trains were either cancelled or delayed


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