25.3.2010 (Plane Stupid)
It’s that time of year when every airline starts aggresively advertising for
your business. Well, we’ve had enough. Plane Stupid is inviting all of you to
take part in its very own subvertising competition. From Thursday 22nd April – Friday 23rd April, we’ll be launching 48 hours of sticker-whacking, subvertising, adbusting pandemonium.
The aviation industry spends millions every year telling us that we’re no good
to anyone unless we keep flying with them.
So it’s time to hit back! Like tobacco adverts, aviation advertising needs to
become a thing of the past. But until then, let’s subvertise. Any poster, advert
or billboard is fair game.
Whether you’re a first time activist looking for an easy way-in, or an old timer
looking for some light relief………it’s time to take to the streets and reclaim
some public space. Taking part is easy:
- You can download a choice of designs from our Flickr site, or use your design
skills to make your own.
- Print them out on standard, non divided, A4 sticker paper (available from most
printers and stationers) for example Jessops link.
- Then find your nearest aviation advertisement.
- Stick ‘em up punk!
- Take photographs, set up a new temporary email adress in an internet cafe (under
a pseudonym) and email your images to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The group who stickers the most adverts in the 48 hour period wins. Wins what?
Prizes! We got the bumper crop of 5 spray cans, Culture Jam by Kalle Lasn, Do It Yourself, A handbook for changing our world, by the Trapese Collective and Scribbleboy by Philip Ridley to give away.
Of course don’t feel limited to individual stickers, think big! You can write
your own message on large stretches of blank wall paper to cover whole bill boards.
Make up some wall paper paste, get a paint roller, a stick it up. If necessary
- attach the roller to a broom handle for those hard to reach places. Helpfully, there’s some great how-to guides on t’internet.
One last point. Please be respectful about where you sticker. Corporate nasties
are fine…..but the local old people’s homes may not appreciate your art on their
Use your head, and remember to dress well for the occasion – caps and scarfs
are the in thing this subvertising season. Some officers of the law may be convinced
that subvertising is borderline illegal, so take a friend as lookout, keep an
eye open for CCTV and don’t get caught.
Read more »
12.2.2010 (Plane Stupid – Johnny’s blog)
On the day the world’s leaders were to release their global emissions target, Plane Stupid Scotland unveiled a new sign welcoming people to Glasgow
Airport. Giant letters read “T2 closed” and “Closed for Ethical Rethink”, pointing
to the increasingly struggling airport.
The action is the first in a growing campaign to keep Terminal 2 shut for good.
It was closed over the winter as a cost saving measure after passenger numbers
fell by 11.3% to 7.2 million. Glasgow airport operates a huge number of short
haul and domestic flights.
Local residents have had fewer sleepless nights due to the decreased air traffic
and the airport’s emissions have also reduced from the 618,539 tonnes of Co2 it
emitted in 2008 (although unsurprisingly BAA won’t tell us by how much). This
trend must continue if we’re to meet our emissions targets, or the “world’s greatest Climate Change Bill” (copyright Scottish Parliament) will become the world’s biggest embarrassment.
Reggie Whittaker, who lives by Glasgow airport explained: “T2 really is plane stupid. It’s unsustainable and unnecessary.”
Read more »
7.12.2009 (CLIMATE CAMP PRESS RELEASE)
REFUGEE SANTAS VS POLICE AT LONDON CITY AIRPORT
20 Climate activists dressed as Santa Claus were pushed out of London City Airport
departures lounge today by police and security guards. Presents of cartoon books
about the problems with carbon trading, carbon ration books, and toy trains were
left undelivered. These were meant for the passengers on the final flight to Copenhagen
before the COP15 climate talks begin.
The Santas’ photographer was arrested. The activists managed to publish a picture
of the arrest on Twitter (1) along with another image of the Santas in action
The activists sang Climate Change-themed Christmas carols, including “Silent
Plight” and “God Rest We Merry Carbon Traders”, in the airport lobby.
A Santa Claus said: “The hypocrisy of flying to the Copenhagen talks is unbelievable.
It just goes to show that for the politicians and corporate lobbyists in Copenhagen,
these talks are no more than business as usual.
“If governments agree a deal based on false solutions like carbon trading, I
shall have to take direct action by getting stuck in a whole lot more chimneys”
Climate refugee santas at City Airport singing as the last flights leave before
(Also a photo of the photographer for Climate Refugee Santas being arrested )
Contact: 07040 900 905
press at climatecamp.org.uk
NOTES FOR EDITORS
There is also a You tube video:
Read more »
21.10.2009 (Plane Stupid website and Media Monkey)
Last night seven Plane Stupid activists and one Heathrow resident popped over
to the PR Week Awards and hijacked a table reserved for Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic have been strong advocates for the third runway at Heathrow
and expansion of Britain’s airports, which we thought they shouldn’t get away
Dressed in glamourous evening wear, the activists entered the glitzy awards,
which celebrates the highlights of the year’s public relations work. They occupied
Virgin Atlantic’s table and refused to leave.
Christine Taylor, who lives next door to Heathrow and whose mother is due to
lose her home if Heathrow’s third runway goes ahead said:
“It’s crazy to build more runways around London – we already have six. My mother
wants to live out her days in her own home, but the bully boys of aviation think
their profits are more important. Tonight at the PR awards we gave them a taste
of what it’s like to be turfed out of your rightful place.“
Protesters fly in for PR Week awards
PR industry gets a taste of its own medicine as Plane Stupid protestors drop
in to celebrate the art of public relations
You couldn’t make it up: PR awards bash halted… by PR stunt. The great and
the good of the UK PR industry got a bit of their own medicine at the annual PR Week magazine awards last night. The swanky black tie affair, held at Grosvenor House on
, was infiltrated by members of airport activist group Plane Stupid. The interlopers
targeted the table booked by Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic. A kerfuffle ensued
during the dinner phase of the evening which reportedly resulted in five police
vehicles – and as many as 20 bobbies – turning up removing the Plane Stupid members. One awards goer said that in the resulting melee “one girl [was] being
pinned to the floor by about five police”. “It was a pretty blue chip response
,” added another attendee. “There was an immense commotion, we think they must
have handcuffed themselves under the table as the place was swimming with staff.
We thought it was an embarassing stripogram or something, I mean you don’t expect
a stunt at the PR Week awards do you?” After about an hour of disruption the awards
were just getting underway, hosted by Alexander Armstrong, when one Plane Stupid
member who had eluded capture heckled the host. A shoo-in for best stunt of the
year at next year’s PR Week bash, surely?
Read more »
On the day that BAA started to buy up homes in readiness for a third runway,
a Heathrow villages resident decided to join Plane Stupid activists to highlight
the plight of residents.
Christine, whose 78-year old mother and sister live in the area that would be
demolished, said: “I have never done anything like this before but when I heard
that BAA were starting to buy up homes, even though they know a third runway is
unlikely to ever be built, I felt something had to be done to highlight what the
aviation industry is doing to our villages.
The group joined guests at the PR Week Awards at Grosvenor House in Park Lane
and took over the table allocated for Virgin Atlantic. Boss Richard Branson is
an outspoken advocate of a third runway.
While Paul Charles, Director of Communications at Virgin Atlantic, and his guests
got a small taste of what it feels like to be pushed out your place with nowhere
to go, Grosvenor House staff tried a variety of tactics to remove the smartly-dressed
activists who were determined to make their point.
Staff had a problem; It is hard to tell anyone from Sipson that they have no
right to sit at a Virgin Atlantic table in order to make a point, when Virgin
Atlantic believes BAA has the right to forcibly remove people from Sipson in order
to make a profit.
After security guards attempted to wrestle an activist off his seat, which simply
drew more attention to the protest, hotel staff started to dismantle the table
Meanwhile, various diners were interested to know what all the fuss was about.
There was considerable support for the protest and even the police, who arrived
to remove the protesters, were not unsympathetic.
About an hour later, as comedian Alexander Armstrong (from BBC’s Armstrong and
Miller) got into his act, he was interupted by cries of “No Third Runway!”.
Christine, who had found a vacant seat with an understanding group, had been
spotted by security and decided that rather than be hustled out she would move
purposefully towards the stage.
As a security guard rushed, with arms spread out, in front of her, Christine
clamped him in a “Strictly Come Dancing” hold and attempted to waltz with him
out of the room – but he was more John Sergeant than Anton du Beke, which thwarted
the attempt at a stylish exit.
Incidentally, the first award of the evening went to Joanna Lumley for her campaign
for the Gurkhas. She was in Burma but her co-campaigner’s acceptance speech highlighted
the power of individuals to make change happen and this received an enthusiastic
round of applause.
Ironic really since people campaigning to help the Heathrow villagers and those
people affected by climate change had just been ejected. Still, that’s the Public
Relations business for you.
Read more »
There are loads of photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeaceuk/
From the Greenpeace website (includes video clips)
Fifty-five Greenpeace volunteers have scaled the walls of the Houses of Parliament
and are now occupying the roof to call for a new style of politics in Britain,
one capable of rising to meet the challenge of climate change.
Tomorrow MPs return from their summer break and the government’s own Committee
on Climate Change will publish a progress report on UK carbon emissions. They
make it clear that Britain is not doing enough to meet its commitments, and insist
that a “step change” in emissions cuts is needed. With just 60 days go until
the critical climate summit in Copenhagen – which faces a very real chance of
failure as things stand – Britain has yet to show true commitment to making the
process a success. We need politicians who are thinking about the next generation,
not just the next election.
The climbers have unfurled a banner on the roof of the Palace of Westminster’s
Great Hall which says: “CHANGE THE POLITICS, SAVE THE CLIMATE.” They are vowing
to stay on the roof overnight so they can welcome politicians back in the morning.
Parliament protesters vow to stay
At least 20 climate protesters will remain on the roof of Parliament overnight,
Greenpeace has said.
More than 50 had scaled Westminster Hall in the latest security breach there
but about half have now come down assisted by police.
Those that stay have food, warm clothes, sleeping bags and modified chairs, Greenpeace
told the BBC.
The latest security breach comes as MPs are set to return to Westminster on Monday
after the summer recess.
The demonstrators, some of whom plan to stay on the roof throughout Monday, unfurled
banners and flags stating “change the politics, save the climate”.
They say they entered the grounds of the Palace of Westminster by using ropes
and ladders to scale perimeter fencing before clambering on to the roof of Westminster
Hall, the oldest part of the building.
The activists, aged from their early 20s to 71, said they intended to ask MPs
to sign a climate manifesto on Monday morning.
One, 28-year-old Anna Jones, said the protest would remind MPs they “simply haven’t
done enough to stop climate change and we need to see some action at home”.
Greenpeace denied the protest was dangerous and said it wanted to “raise the
temperature” about the climate change debate ahead of Parliament’s return.
It said it was alarmed at the lack of attention given to the issue by the political
parties, particularly Labour and the Conservatives, at their recent conferences.
Executive director John Sauven said leading politicians from all the major parties
were failing to come up with concrete plans for green jobs to match their rhetoric
on the subject.
“They have got to act more seriously on the issue,” he told the BBC. “It is missing
from the political agenda and we have got to get it on the political agenda. That
is why we are here.”
At its conference in Brighton, Labour announced plans for new cycle hubs at 10
mainline stations and a £10m green neighbourhood programme to help communities
reduce carbon emissions.
The Conservatives, meanwhile, said that communities which agree to onshore wind
farms will be able to keep revenues they generate from business rates for six
The Commons Climate Change Select Committee will publish a report on Monday assessing
how the UK is doing on reducing emissions, meeting carbon budgets and building
a low-carbon economy.
Security in Parliament was increased in 2004 after some high-profile breaches
but questions have continued to be raised about protection levels.
Last year, activists from Plane Stupid occupied the roof for three hours in protest
against Heathrow expansion, resulting in five activists being found guilty of
Incidents in 2004 included a group of campaigners from Greenpeace scaling Big
Ben’s clock tower.
Pro-hunt protesters stormed the Commons chamber in the same year, while campaigners
from Fathers 4 Justice threw purple powder at Tony Blair during prime minister’s
Read more »
29.9.2009 (Fight the Flights group)
British Airways has launched its pricey new business class only service between
London and New York. The first flight took off a lunchtime today, from London
City airport, which was chosen because it is close to the financial district.
Campaigners around City Airport, lead by the local community group Fight the
Flights, set up a little welcome for the first users of the service – which tellingly
has been given the same flight number as Concorde (about the most noisy and most
polluting passenger plane ever produced) – BA001.
Local campaigners and residents gathered at the airport, dressed as yuppies and
business travellers, to greet the first passengers, and decided to give as good
as they get – by making a huge racket.
They gave an audible example of just what it’s like to be disturbed by unwanted
noise. With clanging pots and pans, tooting trumpets, whistles, horns and anything
that made a din they kept up their noise protest as travellers arrived.
Placards and badges reading “Polluting the poor for profit” and “I pollute for
profit” they clearly put across the strength of opposition by local people badly
affected by the airport, as well as the climate concerns of an airline so flagrantly
encouraging some of the highest emissions air tickets to the USA.
Not only is this a plane designed to carry about 110 passengers in normal configuration,
but carrying just 32 (if all the seats are filled – which is unlikely) but it
also makes another polluting touch down in Ireland en route. Landing and taking
off is the hightest emitting part of any flight.
This new flight provides luxury for a few rich passengers – and more noise pollution
for everyone living under the flight path.
By 2030, London City Airport aims to add another 90,000 flights each year to
its timetable, including bigger, noisier, jets. The borough of Newham is already
suffering from severe air pollution problems (Newham has higher than average asthma
and infant death rates for the UK). A huge increase in flights will make our community
even more vulnerable. Fight the Flights asks “How much more do they expect us
The flight to New York includes a stop at Shannon in western Ireland, because
the 32-bed Airbus A318 can’t carry enough fuel to cross the Atlantic against the
prevailing winds. There is no Shannon stop on the flight to London.
BA is jumping into a tough market. In recent years, attempts by Silverjet,
MAXjet and EOS to run business-only services to the U.S. all flopped.
for more information about the new BA London to New York business flights
BA’s new luxury, all-business New York flight taxis for take-off from London
29th September 2009 BA is defying the aviation gloom to launch a luxury, all-business class transatlantic
service to New York from London City Airport today. It is BA’s first ever to New
York from City. BA will use two specially configured A318 aircraft and use the
BA001 flight number made famous by Concorde. The planes are equipped with just
32 flat-bed seats (the plane could fit in over 110) that can lie flat, and the
latest OnAir communications technology. (Telegraph) Click here to view full story…
Read more »
8.9.2009 (Guardian Environment blog)
The petrol-free tour includes visits to Sipson, the village affected by Heathrow’s
third runway, and is a winning way to stir up support prior to Copenhagen
Posted by Bibi van der Zee
Kim is 20. She has massive, sturdy thighs, shy brown eyes and the longest eyelashes
you’ve ever seen. The Irish cob – a blue and white skewbald, 15.1 hands – and
her two daughters Blossom and Mynacia, are polite, patient and kind, although
Blossom (the youngest at three years) is a bit inexperienced, and only just getting
the hang of pulling the cart. It’s lucky she has her mother and her sister to
look after her: this morning the three of them set off on an eight-day odyssey
across almost the entire south of England.
They’re the crucial muscle of Climate Rush on the Run, a horse-and-cart tour designed to raise awareness and get people involved with
campaigning to reduce emissions for climate change. At least two of the campaigners – Tamsin Omond and Deborah Grayson – have form. Tamsin was one of the five up on the Houses of Parliament last year, while Deborah is still awaiting trial after supergluing herself to a statue
inside the Houses of Parliament. They have the support of plenty of other campaign
groups too, such as NoTRAG and the residents of Sipson, the village due to lose 700 houses when Heathrow airport constructs its third runway by 2020.
Sipson is where the horse-and-cart campaigners kick off their long, long ride,
setting off from the famous plot of land just beside Heathrow which Greenpeace bought in order to delay a third runway. The little patch is thickly green, with raised
vegetable beds boasting runner beans, courgettes and gorgeous orange nasturtiums
– The Good Life actor Richard Briers was photographed there in May to show his support for the ‘Airplot’.
Climate Rush has spent the last few months putting together an impressive itinerary.
It includes a stop in Aylesbury, where chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Green Party leader Caroline Lucas will be cooking on their campfire; Oxford, where writer Mark Lynas is going to compose an opera with Deborah Grayson based on his bestselling book
Six Degrees (the classical world is agog); Stroud, where Dale Vince, head of utility and wind farm developer Ecotricity, has promised to give a couple of the suffragettes a buzz in his homemade British-designed electric car (0-60 in four seconds) and on to Bristol, Taunton, and finishing off in Transition Town Totnes.
It all sounds very picturesque , but I’m pretty sure Climate Rush will set off
a couple of stink bombs too. They like to make a splash, and if it’s funny, headline-grabbing,
and provocative, all the better. If today and the past month’s climate campaigning
– Climate Camps across the country and in London, the launch of TckTckTck, 10:10 and more – are any indication of activity planned for the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit this December, the next few months are going to be a lot more hectic than a leisurely horse
and cart ride.
Climate Rush “One the Run” website at
Read more »
Climate change campaigners dressed in pin-stripe suits and bowler hats attempted
to disrupt private jet flights at London City airport by locking themselves to
Plane Stupid said the five activists chained themselves to the wheel of the business
jet at the airport on Wednesday morning.
The group said they broke through the site’s perimeter fence at around 2.30am
to protest at the “selfishness of private jet use”.
Police officers were called, as well as staff with cutting equipment.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said officers were at the scene and nobody
had yet been arrested.
He added that London City Airport remained open.
In December more than 50 climate change activists from Plane Stupid broke in
to a secure area of Stansted Airport and forced the closure of the runway, resulting
in four people being arrested.
The group were protesting over the Government’s decision to allow the expansion
of Stansted Airport with a second runway.
In March environmental protester Leila Deen, of Plane Stupid, attacked Peter
Mandelson, the Business Secretary, throwing green custard in his face.
After the incident, Lord Mandelson said: “She was so busy throwing what seemed
like green soup or something in my face that she failed to tell me what the protest
was about but, as you can see, thankfully is wasn’t paint and I’ve come through
Describing her motivations, Miss Deen said: “It is a lighthearted way of making
a very serious point. All of our MPs have let us down.”
Plane Stupid website
Notes to the editor
A total of 27 local and regional airports around the UK are currently seeking
to expand their activities.
London City Airport recently received local authority permission to expand its
commercial flights from 80,000 to 120,000. The airport aims to increase this
total to 170,000 by 2030.
Activists targeted London City Airport because it is one of the key drivers of
the private jet business. The airport currently sees an average of 170 movements
(take-offs and landings) per week. The airport’s Jet Centre predicts this figure
will increase to more than 530 a week by 2030.
London City Airport was closed at the time of the eco-takeover. Security was
given two hours’ warning before the first flights of the day.
The airport’s Jet Centre comprises a mixture of privately-owned jets and a for-hire
business jet operation run by PrivateJet.
see also BBC
Climate protest over private jets
Plane Stupid photo
Climate change campaigners have attempted to disrupt private jet flights at an
airport by locking themselves to an aircraft.
Plane Stupid said five activists donned pinstripe suits and bowler hats before
attaching themselves to the wheel of the jet at London City Airport.
The group said the protest in the early hours of Wednesday morning was against
the “selfishness of private jet use”.
Police said five people have been arrested and the airport remained open.
The four men and one woman have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass
and criminal damage.
Comment from the local community group, “Fight the Flights”
10.6.2009 (“Fight the Flights” press release)
FIGHT THE FLIGHTS RESPONSE TO PLANE STUPID’S ACTION AT LONDON CITY AIRPORT
Fight the Flights is not a direct action group, but we fully appreciate the frustration
that the climate change activists feel in getting their voices, and concerns heard
on aviation expansion, and how aviation is one of the fastest growing sources
of CO2 emissions.
It is no wonder that some campaigners feel they are being pushed into taking
non violent direct action because the system is failing people of their democratic
rights to protect their communities, futures and their environment from harmful
‘runaway’ airport and flight expansion.
Just under a 100,000 residents in east and south east London will be affected
by the increasing excessive noise levels from London City Airport upon expansion,
and yet less than 10,000 were claimed to have been consulted by the London Borough
of Newham. Most will not be entitled to any noise insulation. They will have
to live with the consequences every day of their lives, each time a flight takes
off and lands. The majority do not have the option to move, and many lived in
the area long before the airport’s creation.
In just over 20 years, the airport has only managed to directly employ 120 Newham
residents out of the 406 directly employed staff the airport claim to employ.
London taxpayers have also paid £24million for the airport’s security provided
by the Metropolitan Police over the past 5 years, which the airport refuse to
In addition the air quality above London City Airport exceeds EU directive levels
by 50% and was termed as ‘toxic’ but this was not acknowledged by the London Borough
of Newham. In a borough which has the highest level of mortality in under 30s
with asthma in the whole country, Newham should be focussing on improving air
quality, not adding to the pollution by approving further expansion at this residentially
situated airport in the most densely populated area of England.
Residents have been constantly thwarted and ignored by this government and the
London Borough of Newham when providing evidence against the expansion. Requests
for a public inquiry into the planned 50% expansion of flights at London City
Airport was refused by Hazel Blears, Secretary of State in 2008, whilst the London
Borough of Newham showed no concern that 100s of homes in Greenwich will now be
in the crash zone and failed to address the risk to residents and communities
who live, work or travel through the crash zone in both Newham and Greenwich.
However in contrast the government and council appear to consistently listen
to the aviation industry at the expense of the communities: this is expansion
at any cost.
With a government that does not listen to local concerns on the effects of expansion
on third party safety, increasing pollution levels, the effect on residents’ health
and children’s development, and the contribution to climate change, it is no wonder
that we are seeing actions such as this more frequently.
Fight the Flights website and Fight the flights blogspot
Read more »
25.4.2009 (Guardian – and others)
Climate change activist taped men who offered cash for information about group’s
members and activities
Undercover police are running a network of hundreds of informants inside protest organisations
who secretly feed them intelligence in return for cash, according to evidence
handed to the Guardian.
They claim to have infiltrated a number of environmental groups and said they
are receiving information about leaders, tactics and plans of future demonstrations.
The dramatic disclosures are revealed in almost three hours of secretly recorded
discussions between covert officers claiming to be from Strathclyde police, and
an activist from the protest group Plane Stupid, whom the officers attempted to
recruit as a paid spy after she had been released on bail following a demonstration
at Aberdeen airport last month.
Matilda Gifford, 24, said she recorded the meetings in an attempt to expose how
police seek to disrupt the legitimate activities of climate change activists.
She met the officers twice; they said they were a detective constable and his
assistant. During the taped discussions, the officers:
â€¢ Indicate that she could receive tens of thousands of pounds to pay off her
student loans in return for information about individuals within Plane Stupid.
â€¢ Say they will not pay money direct into her bank account because that would
leave an audit trail that would leave her compromised. They said the money would
be tax-free, and added: “UK plc can afford more than 20 quid.”
â€¢ Accept that she is a legitimate protester, but warn her that her activity could
mean she will struggle to find employment in the future and result in a criminal
â€¢ Claim they have hundreds of informants feeding them information from protest
organisations and “big groupings” from across the political spectrum.
â€¢ Explain that spying could assist her if she was arrested. “People would sell
their soul to the devil,” an officer said.
â€¢ Warn her that she could be jailed alongside “hard, evil” people if she received
a custodial sentence.
The meetings took place in a Glasgow police station last month and in a supermarket
cafe on Tuesday. Gifford used a mobile phone and device sewn into her waistcoat
to record what they described as a “business proposal” that she should think of
as a job.
They intimated that in return for updates on Plane Stupid’s plans she could receive
large sums of money in cash.
When lawyers acting for Plane Stupid contacted Strathclyde police this week to
establish the identities of the detective constable, they were initially told
by the human resources department there was no record of his name.
But when the Guardian contacted the force, they acknowledged officers had had
meetings with Plane Stupid activists.
In a statement last night, assistant chief constable George Hamilton said the
force had “a responsibility to gather intelligence”, and such operations were
conducted according to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). The
force would not comment on the identity of the officers.
“Officers from Strathclyde police have been in contact with a number of protesters
who were involved with the Plane Stupid protests including Aberdeen airport,”
he said. “The purpose of this contact has been to ensure that any future protest
activity is carried out within the law and in a manner which respects the rights
of all concerned.”
Gifford’s lawyer, Patrick Campbell, said: “I have very considerable concerns
about these events. There appears to be a covert operation that is running in
some way with, or using, Strathclyde police’s name. There appears to be a concerted
effort to turn protesters to informants and possibly infiltrate peaceful protest
He added: “The methods employed are disturbing, and more worrying yet is the
lack of any clearly identifiable body responsible for this. These individuals
seem to have some kind of police support or at the very least connections with
the police – the access to police stations confirms that – but my concern is the
lack of accountability and the threat to the individual and her right to protest.”
Gifford intended to meet the officers for a third time on Thursday, taking a
lawyer with her. But the officers did not appear at the rendezvous. However, she
said she was later approached by the detective constable, who said he was disappointed
in her. The man got into a car, leaving Gifford feeling shaken and intimidated.
She said last night that the initial approach from the officers was “an opportunity
that fell out of the sky”. She added: “Recording them seemed like the obvious
thing to do. I was keen to find out what they had to offer, what they wanted to
find out, and feed that back to the group in case other members of Plane Stupid
In a statement, Plane Stupid said: “Our civil liberties were invaded and our
right to peaceful protest called into question simply to defend the interests
of big business.”
Cop watch: cops caught trying to bribe a Plane Stupid activist
Posted April 25th, 2009 by Richard
Police ‘pay protester informers’
includes video clips.
Police ‘wanted protester to spy’
Fresh questions over police tactics have been raised after an environmental protester
claimed that officers tried to recruit her as a paid spy to inform on her organisation.
Politicians stepped in when Matilda Gifford revealed that she was approached
by officers claiming to be from Strathclyde Police a few weeks after she was arrested
in a protest at Aberdeen Airport in March.
Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Scottish Green Party called on ministers to
clarify the role of police and ensure their actions were appropriate.
Ms Gifford said she had felt “intimidated” by the experience, which she made
public in a series of recordings handed to the Guardian newspaper.
“The main thing about getting this story out was to warn other activists. Other
people have been offered money or intimidated like me,” she said. “We’re not to
be intimidated, we must continue to do what we do with a clean conscience. After
being scared by these people, I wanted to go public so that I can feel safe.”
The 24-year-old said police told her that they have a network of informants inside
protest organisations, which they tried to persuade her to join.
In meetings at a Glasgow police station, which she recorded, and later in a cafe,
they offered her financial rewards for information on Plane Stupid.
Strathclyde Police Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton said the force had
“a responsibility to gather intelligence”.
He added: “Officers from Strathclyde Police have been in contact with a number
of protesters who were involved with the Plane Stupid protests, including Aberdeen
Airport. The purpose of this contact has been to ensure that any future protest
activity is carried out within the law and in a manner which respects the rights
of all concerned.”
The revelations were described as a “storm in a teacup” by John O’Connor, a former
commander of Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad, who told the BBC: “The police don’t
just sit in their ivory tower and expect the phone to ring and be given intelligence
information. They go out actively to gather it.”
Read more »