Manchester Piccadilly train station closed by protest

Casey Dawson
March 12, 2018

The station is closed.

Passengers leaving or returning to South Yorkshire via Manchester are experiencing extensive delays this afternoon, after protesters climbed onto the train tracks and blocked all rail lines through the station.

Similar events are taking place across Europe.

Social media users posted pictures from among the crowd saying that the demonstration was in support of Afrin, which Kurds have claimed is being "ethnically cleansed" by the Turkish military.

A spokesperson for Network Rail added: "Due to a mass trespass incident, services into Manchester Piccadilly are now suspended".

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Superintendent Mark Cleland from British Transport Police said of the Manchester incident: "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".

A spokesman said: "The station has been closed to trains while officers at the scene work to ensure their (protesters) safe removal and the reopening of the station".

National Rail said Kings Cross station has fully re-opened but trains to and from there may still be delayed or revised as the service recovers.

One eyewitness told the Manchester Evening News that she saw dozens of protesters.

While the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) is viewed by US-backed forces as key in the fight against Isis in the country, the Turkish government considers it a terrorist group.

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