Over 4,000 take part in Frankfurt’s 100th protest evening – including supporters from Heathrow and Gatwick
The 4th runway at Frankfurt airport was opened in October 2011. The flightpaths for this runway overfly thousands of residents in the Frankfurt, many of whom had not previously been overflown. They suddenly found the noise of aircraft overhead every few minutes, relentlessly (day after day, week after week) for most of the day intolerable. Other areas were also affected by changes to flight paths. Ever since the opening, the people of Frankfurt have absolutely refused to accept this, and have campaigned continuously and relentlessly. They hold unique and remarkable protests, almost every Monday night, in the airport terminal. These are attended by well over 1,000 people, every time. On 19th May, the 100th airport terminal protest was held, with around 4,000 (maybe more) protesters. Some campaigners from the Heathrow and Gatwick campaigns went out (by train) to show solidarity and share this remarkable achievement with their German friends. John Stewart, Chair of HACAN and of AirportWatch, addressed the protest, saying they were making aviation history, and the tenacity, persistence and determination of the opposition to Frankfurt flights is increasingly a matter of concern to the aviation industry.
Below are some photos of the protest, and links to videos.
YouTube film : This is a video of part of the 2 hour protest, with the speeches. All in German, except John Stewart’s 2 minute address. Mention of the British visitors to the protest is at about 10 minutes in, and John’s speech at about 11 – 13 minutes in. http://youtu.be/LVOh_3E3bBw
This flim is longer and shows more of the protest http://youtu.be/Cdk_XQmZiqs
Also another Link to a video on the occasion of the 100th Monday Demonstration against aircraft noise at Frankfurt Airport http://youtu.be/JTYWrjQHSJ4
This is the Frankfurt theme song
The song the which the protesters sing – loudly – at their Monday evening airport terminal invasions. With a very catchy chorus “Unsere Forderung wird immer lauter Die Landebahn muss weg” means “Our challenge is getting louder. The Runway Must Go”.
John Byng and Sally Pavey, from Gatwick, wishing they had bought earplugs against the din. Most of the Frankfurt participants, (banging drums, tooting whistles, blowing horns, singing ….) take the precaution of the earplugs. The protests aim to attack noise with noise ….
James and Sally displaying our t-shirts – supporting the Frankfurt protest.
John Byng from Gatwick with ladies objecting to the aircraft noise, with tambourines, balloons and wicked hats.
The Heathrow and Gatwick banner sets off – with a thousand or so others – on its not-so-sedate tour around the entire airport terminal complex, with drums, whistles, music and lively chanting of “Die Landebahn muss weg”, which means “The [Frankfurt ] runway must go.”
Tamsin and Sarah on their turn to take the banner as it joined in the procession around the airport
The German version of the t-shirts of the British visitors.
The English version of the t- shirts of the British visitors
Part of the crowd. Each of the areas affected by aircraft noise has its own placard, expressing their opposition to the noise. “Fluglarm” means aircraft noise. “Fluglarm macht krank” on a lot of the banners and placards, means “aircraft noise makes you ill.
These ordinary, peaceful, law abiding Germans feel sufficiently furious about the noise that they have kept up these protests for about two and a half years. Many, or most, have turned out almost every Monday – with this the 100th time. They have absolutely no intention of stopping either.
John Stewart addressing the protesters, after the presenter gave a warm welcome to the British and Dutch protesters, from Heathrow, Gatwick and Schiphol campaigns, who had come to join in the 100th protest. John said the Frankfurt protesters had made history by continuing to protest for so long. He added that the extent and the determination of the Frankfurt protests have bothered the aviation industry, especially as the opposition to the new runway and its flight paths shows no sign of diminishing.
A small section of the crowd, listening to the speeches. Generally a different area affected by noise help organise the weekly protests in turn, sharing the responsibility and work.
The strength of feeling about the hated aircraft noise is made plain by the sheer scale of the protests. This number of responsible, mild mannered citizens do not take up weekly protests unless they feel very strongly, and very passionately indeed, about the cause.
John Stewart with two of the singing air hostesses, who sang lively anti-runway songs.
Example of creative Frankfurt anti-runway head gear.
The UK group with German friends at the end of the 100th Frankfurt protest
After supper, with good German beer, and some German-English t-shirt swapping – Heathrow, Gatwick and Frankfurt campaigners …. celebrating the 100th protest.
Links to videos on the occasion of the 100th Monday Demonstration against aircraft noise at Frankfurt Airport:
More news about Frankfurt and the protests at Frankfurt Airport