Grow Heathrow campaigners fight eviction at High Court

A group of young people, calling themselves “Grow Heathrow”, set up a market garden and informal community on squatted land in Sipson in 2010. The land had been derelict and was not being used by its owner, Mr Malik. He has been attempting to remove the squtters, who are environmental activists, for the past two years or more. The case for their eviction went to the High Court on Tuesday 15th January. Grow Heathrow say their case is an important challenge to the idea that landlords can leave land empty in the middle of a housing crisis. Mr Malik was given the judgement of possession in July. The basis of Grow Heathrow’s appeal is Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is the right to have a home and family life. On the one hand, Grow Heathrow say they have added “social value” of the garden while it is wrong to keep the owner out of land for which he had paid a six-figure sum.  Given the widespread importance of the issues raised by the case, Lords Justice Ward, Lloyd and Toulson are expected to reserve their decision until a later date – probably 14th February.

 

Grow Heathrow campaigners fight eviction at High Court

Jan 15th 2013  (Uxbridge Gazette)

By Jack Griffith

ITS DO or die for the squatters at Grow Heathrow, as they await a high court ruling on their eviction appeal.

The environmental activists who set up and run the Sipson community garden made their presence known outside the Royal Courts of Justice, in The Strand, today (Tuesday), handing out fruit smoothies to passers-by and banging the drum for squatters’ rights.

They had a group of supporters in tow and spirits were high as the latest saga in the legal battle commenced in the courtroom.

Grow Heathrows William Ronan said: This case is an important challenge to the idea that landlords can leave land empty in the middle of a housing crisis.”

Imran Malik, the owner of the contested land in Vineries Close, was given the judgement of possession in July, nearly two years after first serving the eviction notice.

The basis of Grow Heathrows appeal is Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights the right to have a home and if successful, it could set a legal precedent for land use in this country.

The Grow Heathrow group took over the derelict site in March 2010 and created a community.

http://www.uxbridgegazette.co.uk/west-london-news/local-uxbridge-news/2013/01/15/grow-heathrow-campaigners-fight-eviction-at-high-court-113046-32604757/


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There is more on this from the Transition Heathrow website at http://www.transitionheathrow.com/

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Heathrow squatters claim moving them on would violate right to a family life

A group of squatters occupying land earmarked for the likely route of the Heathrow third runway are claiming moving them on would violate their human right to a family life.

 By   (Telegraph)

15 Jan 2013

The “Grow Heathrow” group claim they have transformed a scruffy site once used by fly-tippers into an idyllic market garden and eviction will violate their human rights.

And, in the first case of its kind, Appeal Court judges are being asked to decide whether the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) should apply to private landowners.

Imran Malik, who paid £240,000 for the land to the north of Vineries Close, West Drayton, in 2003, said his private property rights should take precedence and the trespassers should be ordered to leave forthwith.

The campaigners were, in July last year, given six weeks to leave by Judge Karen Walden-Smith but are now challenging that decision before three of the country’s most senior judges.

The judge had acknowledged the “social value” of the garden lovingly grown by the squatters and controversially upheld their arguments that Article 8 of the ECHR – which enshrines the right to respect for privacy and family life – could be applied to a private landowner.

However, in granting Mr Malik a possession order, she said that it would be wrong to keep him out of land for which he had paid a six-figure sum and that she had no power to delay the group’s eviction on grounds of “exceptional hardship”.

To take into account the “socially useful” activities of the squatters on the site would “run entirely contrary to the principle of private ownership of land”, she said.

Challenging that ruling today, Jan Luba QC, for the campaigners, said that their Article 8 rights should have held sway and, at the very least, the judge should have given them substantially longer than six weeks to quit their homes.

The judges were told that, prior to the squatters moving onto the land in March last year, it had been the scene of fly-tipping and had been used by the previous tenant as a dumping ground for used cars.

The market garden now flourishing on the site had “significantly greater social advantages” than any previous or any likely future use of the land, argued the barrister.

However, Naomi Winston, for Mr Malik, pointed out that he has his own human right to freely enjoy his private property.

Judge Walden-Smith was right to rule that the eviction of trespassers was “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”.

Subjective views on the social value of the group’s activities were of limited, if any, relevance, argued the barrister, who added that the court had no power to delay eviction of trespassers on hardship grounds.

Miss Winston said that the group had been granted “a further period of grace” whilst their appeal is heard and the time had now come to hand back to Mr Malik his private property.

Given the widespread importance of the issues raised by the case, Lords Justice Ward, Lloyd and Toulson are expected to reserve their decision until a later date.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9804074/Heathrow-squatters-claim-moving-them-on-would-violate-right-to-a-family-life.html

 

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Earlier news about Grow Heathrow:

 

“Grow Heathrow” in court facing eviction from their organic gardening site in Sipson – (now delayed a few weeks)

18.6.2012 The “Grow Heathrow” community, who have turned an area in Sipson that was once a “derelict mess”, into a thriving market garden, are facing eviction. However, the young people living there are popular with the local community, who want them to stay. When they arrived several years ago, they cleared as much as 30 tonnes of rubbish off the site, renovated greenhouses and now grow organic lettuces, courgettes,squashes etc.  The site happens to be where a 3rd runway was to be built – a location in many of their neighbours’ interests to protect. The owner of the land wants his land back, and a hearing at Central London County Court began on Monday but the judge has decided to take more time, so they are not due back in court for several weeks.  The court is expected to weigh up the human rights and hard work of those who have moved in against the simple fact the land is not theirs.

www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=2203

 

 


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Transition Heathrow. We’re not going anywhere !

Transition Heathrow’s “Grow Heathrow” project were due to be in court on 17th November, for a hearing about having them evicted from the site they are occupying at Sipson.  The judge took into account the human rights arguments and adjourned the case to the higher authority of Central London County Court where a two day hearing will take place in a few months time. The owner of the site wants the land back, though it had been neglected for years, and Grow Heathrow has turned it into a thriving community venture.

17.11.2011 (Transition Heathrow)

www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=5978


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New video from Transition Heathrow to mark the group’s first birthday

 

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Protest wildlife walk against the proposed World Logistics Hub at Manchester airport

On Saturday 3rd November around 100 local residents and campaigners took part in a protest wildlife walk against the proposed £100m World Logistics Hub at Manchester Airport. The protesters braved the cold to take a route around the 90 acre former greenbelt site, which is threatened by the plans to build 43 cargo sheds and almost 1,500 car parking spaces.  Local residents, wildlife enthusiasts and environmental campaigners spoke at various points along the walk, sharing their experiences of fighting Manchester Airport expansion and highlighting the numerous ways that the plans would affect local people and the environment. The Wildlife Walk came the week after the Wythenshawe Area Committee ‘recommended for approval’ the World Logistics Hub plans, on the 25th October.  The application will now be sent to the Planning and Highways Committee at Manchester City Council for a final decision on 22nd November 2012.  Campaigners argue that job creation figures proposed by the airport are inflated.
 


 

Save Sunbank! Wildlife Walk

3.11.2012 (Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport  – SEMA)
 
On Saturday 3rd November around 100 local residents and campaigners took part in a protest walk against the proposed World Logistics Hub at Manchester Airport. The protesters braved the cold to take a route around the 90 acre former greenbelt site, which is threatened by the plans to build 43 cargo sheds and almost 1,500 car parking spaces.
 
 
Local residents, wildlife enthusiasts and environmental campaigners spoke at various points along the walk, sharing their experiences of fighting Manchester Airport expansion and highlighting the numerous ways that the plans would affect local people and the environment.
 
The Wildlife Walk came the week after the Wythenshawe Area Committee‘recommended for approval’ the World Logistics Hub plans, on the 25th October.  The application will now be sent to the Planning and Highways Committee at Manchester City Council for a final decision on 22nd November 2012.  A number of attendees at the Wildlife Walk, keen for their concerns to be brought to this Committee, pledged to attend this November meeting at Manchester Town Hall.
 
Several Councillors of the Wythenshawe Area Committee backed the Logistics Hub plans based on the Airport’s promises of local job opportunities. However campaigners argue that job creation figures proposed by the Airport are inflated.
 

Jane Beetson from ‘Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport’ campaign  said “When Manchester Airport first announced plans for a second runway, they claimed 50,000 jobs would be created.  No-where near that number of jobs materialised.  Just like then, they are misleading the public now.”

She added, “Local Councillors say they will force the Airport to give jobs to local people but in practice they will have no way of enforcing this on the firms that move into the new office and warehouse spaces.  We need to create green jobs in sustainable industries not dirty aviation.”

The Wildlife Walk was also an opportunity for wildlife experts to explain that Airport’s promises of preserving wildlife are also unrealistic, and that creating a ‘mitigation zone’ is no substitution for leaving habitats untouched.

 
Along the route, campaigners encountered the threatened habitats of numerous plant and animal species. Several mature oak trees line Sunbank Lane, providing nesting opportunities for rare birds, and potential roosting spots for endangered bat species. The site is also home to 12 ponds occupied by Great Crested Newts, an endangered species found only in the North West of England. Walkers were also able to spot signs of protected animals for example badger snuffle holes and mole hills in the green space around Sunbank.
 
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From the Manchester Evening News
30.10.2012
 

Residents plan protest against £100m Manchester Airport World Logistics Hub

CONTROVERSIAL: An artist's impression of the proposed World Logistics Hub at Manchester AirportCONTROVERSIAL: An artist’s impression of the proposed World Logistics Hub at Manchester Airport

Residents living near the proposed site of a £100m logistics hub at Manchester Airport are planning a protest against the plans.
 

Hundreds of people are expected to gather near the proposed site on Saturday  and take part in a protest with a difference – a wildlife walk.

The campaigners are furious at plans to build a ‘world-class’ cargo centre, which will form part of the £650m Airport City project and is expected to create more than 1,800 jobs.

They are objecting to it because they claim it could ruin their neighbourhood and destroy the surrounding countryside.

Now, they are planning to descend on the area for a family-friendly walk around the woodlands and fields earmarked for development.

They claim that the project could threaten animal and plant species, as well as increasing traffic congestion and carbon emissions.

Airport bosses say the centre will house cargo space for freight companies, offering businesses unrivalled access to air and motorway links.

An outline planning application has already been submitted and it is thought that construction could begin before the end of the year.

Audrey O’Donovan, local resident and chair of Ringway Parish Council, said “The World Logistics Hub, should it get final approval, would result in serious loss of amenity and environmental damage for local people.

“The impact upon local wildlife and ecology would have serious consequences for the biodiversity of this area.”

The walkers will set off on their route – which will cover land in Altrincham and Hale – at 2pm and want as many people as possible to support them.

The cargo centre has been recommended for approval by councillors from the Wythenshawe Area Committee, subject to conditions, including access to footpaths and minimising noise levels.

The final decision is expected to be taken by Manchester council’s planning and highways committee next month.

Airport bosses say they hope it will create more than 1,800 permanent jobs over the next 10 to 15 years, in addition to construction posts.

It will form the southern part of the Airport City’s Enterprise Zone, which was unveiled by the government last March.

An airport spokesman said: “World Logistics Hub will help existing airport businesses to expand as well as attract new businesses to the north west region. This will generate much-needed economic growth and many jobs.

“It is unfortunate that a significant amount of misinformation has been circulated by a small minority which has misled local people. For example, the land is not in the Green Belt. We will continue to talk to local people to deal with their concerns.”

http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/business/s/1592441_residents-plan-protest-against-100m-manchester-airport-world-logistics-hub

 
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 Earlier:
 

 

£100m Manchester airport cargo centre ‘will ruin our homes’ say opponents

September 1, 2012     Residents living near the proposed site of a new £100m World Logistics Hub at Manchester Airport have objected to it saying it could ruin their local area, destroy the countryside and devalue their homes. The airport has submitted an outline planning application for the ‘world-class’ cargo centre, which will form part of the £650m Airport City project – and claims it will create more than 1,800 jobs. The plans are for multiple freight units with 1.4 million sq ft of warehouse space, with 24-hour operations, creating considerable noise and light pollution on the surrounding area. The centre will provide cargo space for freight companies, with access to air and motorway links. its construction could start by the end of 2012.   Click here to view full story…


Manchester Airport unveils plans to concrete former greenbelt land with ‘World Logistics Hub’

August 19, 2012     Manchester Airport has announced plans to concrete over former greenbelt land (removed form the greenbelt in July 2012) around Sunbank Lane to make way for a ‘World Logistics Hub’. The area currently contains residential houses and green fields and also borders onto an SSSI. The plans involve construction of around 43 warehouses and office units of various sizes on land adjacent to the A538, as well as 1,473 car parking spaces, and form part of the wider Airport City Enterprise Zone. Though the airport anticipates many jobs being created over 15 years, it is likely many of these are jobs displaced from elsewhere as businesses relocate due to lower business rates. The Airport have published an ‘informal’ consultation document and intend to submit a formal planning application during August with a 21 day consultation.  Click here to view full story…

 

 

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Violent clashes between opponents and gendarmes in the battle against Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport

On 30th October there were more violent scenes as hundreds of French police battled against protesters at Notre-Dame-des-Landes as the authorities tried to evict people from areas that are intended as part of the new Nantes airport.  A large area of good agricultural land is to be taken over, to build the second airport for Nantes. This means the eviction of a number of farmers from their land. There has been fierce opposition to the plans for months. Earlier in the year there was a hunger strike by some of the farmers, and their supporters, for a month. Hundreds of local people, as well as socialists and anti-globalisation protesters have fought hard to prevent this airport being built. They say it is not needed, there is not a good economic case for it, and at a time when France should  be cutting its CO2 emissions, this new airport will only serve to increase carbon.

 



There  is dramatic video (2 minutes) of stand-off between police & residents resisting demolition of homes to make way for new Nantes airport http://youtu.be/sR9E-CD1Y9s   

On 30th night, there were demonstations in 6 French cities in support of Nantes campaigners including a flash mob in Paris.

Thereis more information at  Nantes International Airport – not yet built  and news of what has been happening there over the past year or so at Nantes Airport News


Scenes from the battle against Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport

[Apologies for imperfect translation into English below].

Violent clashes, face to face conflict , taking place this morning at Sabot , a gathering place for opponents of the airport Notre Dame des Landes.

© AFP
© AFP

On Tuesday morning the police launched a new operation to remove opponents of airport project at Notre-Dame-des-Landes  and sharp clashes occurred, captures by an AFP photographer. The clashes focus on the place called Le Sabot, one of the gathering places of opponents to this airport project, which is scheduled to open in 2017. The forces used explosive grenades, and pepper grenades,  as well as tear gas, according to the same source. A helicopter was flying over the area permanently. Following sharp clashes, up to melee face to face clashes, a pause was brought about shortly before 8 h 30, the police apparently waiting for the arrival of reinforcements. Both sides faced each other less than 200 meters apart.

© AFP
© AFP
The announcement of the evacuation was filtered out on Monday evening. In anticipation of this, the opponents tring to slow down the evictions that started operations two weeks ago, had dug trenches in recent days and set up roadblocks to slow the progression of law enforcement, including felling trees across roads, fires were lit, including burningpallets.
At the call of several agricultural organizations, a meeting was scheduled Tuesday morning at Sabot, a place for growing vegetables, in support of farmers threatened by the new airport project. 
Demonstration area cordoned off
 New demonstrators from the village of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, tried to join the Sabot protest where there is the confrontation between police and opponents of the airport. They were stopped by the gendarmes, due to the violent clashes still in progress.
Full article in French at
http://bretagne.france3.fr/2012/10/30/scenes-de-guerilla-contre-l-aeroport-de-notre-dame-des-landes-132441.html
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See also

Notre-Dame-des-Landes: evictions turn to trench warfare

30-10-2012   (Article in English from Metro)
Clashes between police

Opponents to the airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes defended their ZAD (“final area of autonomy”) against the forces Tuesday. Photo: AFP

Opponents of the construction of the airport clash with security forces since Tuesday morning in the grove Nantes. EELV elected officials came to support them.

“Nothing justifies this brutality.” Julien Durand, retired farmer and spokesman of the association ACIPA reached by Metro, assists since Thursday morning “harassment in spurts” of forces around the site of Sabot at Notre Dame des-Landes. The shared garden has become a landmark in the fight against the proposed new airport north of Nantes. Since early morning, opponents and mobile police violently confront each other: first dug trenches across the road and erected barricades, where they throw projectiles, the second replicate to teargas and rubber bullets.
“Neither heroes nor martyrs”

A few kilometers away, the police have evacuated a house in La Sauldre, despite resistance from several dozen people. “I was indoors. Twenty-five gendarmes returned. We are neither heroes nor martyrs. They took me out and threatened police custody, told Metro Geneviève Coiffard, President of ACIPA . But the young are not going to let it grow out without showing their determination. “

This 65 year old woman was wounded in the hand last week in clashes the same type. Indeed, evacuations have already taken place on 9, 15 and 16 October at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, to begin preparatory work at the site of the airport. Action called “Operation Caesar,” which is a lot Coiffard Genevieve laugh: “It is the arrogance of the Roman conquerors in the land of Asterix, I do not know what bureaucrat had this idea!”

A project championed by Ayrault

The critics are not against the new airport project, which must destroy hundreds of hectares of farmland 30 kilometers north of Nantes. But muscular evacuations have increased solidarity between farmers and grove of young people came to protest by sitting in abandoned farms.

The fight takes a turn as national, especially as the project is championed by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Mayor of Nantes old. “This new show of force against militants who have chosen to oppose an absurd project, including an environmental point of view, is a clear signal sent by the government, said Bruno Julliard, of Greenpeace . At eve of the debate on energy, it does not bode well for future discussions. ” dozen NGOs have arrested Jean-Marc Ayrault an open letter last Thursday.

“The devastating impact of the images of civil war”

Fifteen elected EELV were present at the scene of the clashes.In a statement, the party “demands the immediate cessation of operations during destruction and calls for a return to reason.”Dominique Voynet, which was received at the Elysée as mayor of Montreuil, said on Twitter that she “could share a moment with François Hollande and tell him our incomprehension repression” and that the President was “aware of the devastating images of civil war in Notre-Dame-des-Landes. “

http://www.metrofrance.com/info/notre-dame-des-landes-les-expulsions-tournent-a-la-guerre-des-tranchees/mljD!UHV4pbTxmkXD2/
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See also

Notre Dame des Landes continues to resist!

October 30th, 2012

 

We salute the courage and tenacity of the defenders of the ZAD who resist the occupation forces government orders Holland / Ayrault despite obvious attempt isolation media and extreme violence of the police who want to expel those opposed to that 2000 hectares of groves of Britain are delivered to the multinational VINCI.

We emphasize here the dangers posed to the airport opponents Notre Dame des Landes who ordered the police to destroy houses and huts, hit it with a mechanical device in which a tree is an opponent, draw to fire rubber bullets to tense, wound with pieces of grenades at the demonstrators.

 

a comrade wounded by a grenade range.
firing of rubber bullets police government PS / EELV

We welcome the presence at the scene this morning of peasants and opponents alongside historical occupants of the ZAD.

We believe that their presence as support initiatives undertaken these last days to Chateaubriant, Vannes, Nantes, Rennes, Redon make visible a popular anchorage opponents including Britain.

We urge our members and supporters to participate in all initiatives support can come in the days ahead, we must constrain each component of the political position and to accept the consequences.

 

to the local PS Saint Brieuc today.

We hope that the trade unions and political associations translate their support to the occupiers of the ZAD into concrete actions on the ground, it will be possible November 17 at the event reoccupation. ZAD See press

As today we will be there. And you?

Direction Breizhistance IS.

 

http://www.breizhistance.tv/2012/10/30/notre-dame-des-landes-continuons-a-resister/

 

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French police teargas anti-airport protest

Tag on a wall in Notre Dame-Des-Landes where the new airport is going to be built

Reuters

By RFI English
30.10.2012

There were violent clashes on Tuesday as police tried to clear a camp of protestors at Notre Dame-des-Landes, the site of a proposed new airport near Nantes in western France.

Witnesses say police used pepper grenades and tear gas as well as flashballs, to try to control the situation.  There are unconfirmed reports of injuries.

“We were faced with very determined opponents, who have increased considerably in number over the weekend, following internet appeals. Security forces had to deal with violent projectile attacks and disperse groups of assailants using tear gas”, said a communiqué issued by the regional police.

The police intend to continue to dismantle the camps so that preliminary work clearing the undergrowth can begin.

Police began trying to evacuate the Le Sabot area, where the opposition to the camp first began. A group of about fifteen protestors remain on the roof at Le Sabot.

Around twenty tractors were ordered to turn back under threat of a charge by riot police, according to a passenger in one of the tractors.

Farmers are among those protesting against the construction of the airport, which is being built on protected swampland.

The project is financed partly by the state and partly by private investors, and the intention is to replace the current airport Nantes Atlantique, which is to the south of the city area.

Until he was appointed Prime Minister in June, Jean-Marc Ayrault was Mayor of Nantes.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Marc_Ayrault

 

http://www.english.rfi.fr/visiting-france/20121030-french-police-tear-gas-anti-airport-protest

 

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Nantes airport: Duflot disapproves

AFP  

The Minister of Housing, Cécile Duflot, questioned on Wednesday’s clashes around Nantes airport project, said that “repression and lack of dialogue” was not “the right way”, recalling her “disagreement on this project “. was the responsible environmentalist questioned by RTL on the eve of the intervention forces against opponents of the project at Notre Dame des Landes, supported by Jean-Marc Ayrault, former Mayor of Nantes and the Prime Minister.

” There is old and officially recorded disagreement on this project, nothing new under the sun, “she said. “I am not a minister of law and order but I do not think on subjects as complex as this, repression and lack of dialogue are the right way,” she added.

” I disagree on this point, and that is known by the prime minister, “added the minister.  “This project, as well as other infrastructure projects” is “considered in the context of a commission under the responsibility of Frédéric Cuvillier, Minister of Transport, with whom I get along very well, to say that at a time when it is necessary to save public money, we will have to choose, ” argued the former head of Europe Ecologie-Les Verts.

“This debate exists, there is no taboo”. EELV protested yesterday after heated clashes in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, where, according to the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique  there have  been six minor injuries to the security forces who pursued the evacuation site.

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2012/10/31/97001-20121031FILWWW00317-aeroport-de-nantes-duflot-desapprouve.php

 

The original French:

La ministre du Logement, Cécile Duflot, interrogée mercredi sur les affrontements autour du projet d’aéroport nantais, a estimé que la “répression et le manque de dialogue” n’étaient pas “la bonne méthode”, rappelant son “désaccord sur ce projet”.

La responsable écologiste était questionnée par RTL sur l’intervention la veille des forces de l’ordre contre les opposants au projet de Notre-Dame des Landes, soutenu par Jean-Marc Ayrault, ex-maire de Nantes et premier ministre.

“Il y a un désaccord sur ce projet, ancien et acté, rien de nouveau sous le soleil”, a-t-elle dit. “Je ne suis pas ministre du maintien de l’ordre mais je ne crois pas que sur des sujets aussi compliqués, la répression et le manque de dialogue – ce qui est le cas – soient la bonne méthode”, a-t-elle ajouté.

“Mon désaccord sur ce point, il est connu par le premier ministre”, a poursuivi la ministre. “Ce projet éventuel, comme d’autres projets d’infrastructures” est “étudié dans le cadre d’une commission sous la responsabilité de Frédéric Cuvillier, ministre des Transports, avec qui je m’entends très bien, pour dire qu’à un moment où il faut économiser les deniers publics, il va falloir choisir”, a encore argumenté l’ex-responsable d’Europe Ecologie-Les Verts. “Ce débat, il existe”, il “n’y a pas de tabou”.

EELV avait protesté hier après les vifs affrontements à Notre-Dame-des-Landes, qui, selon la préfecture de Loire-Atlantique ont fait six blessés légers côté forces de l’ordre qui poursuivaient l’évacuation du site.

Read more »

As many as 8,000 in Frankfurt airport protest to mark 1st anniversary of opening of 4th runway

On Sunday, a year after the opening of the 4th runway at Frankfurt airport,  thousands protested peacefully against the increasing noise in the region.  There may have been as many as 8,000 people there. On a bright autumn day they assembled by the fence next to the runway and showed their anger partly by making loud music. They are demanding planned construction of a new third airport terminal to be ceased. They are  also demanding the closure of the 4th runway, and an extension of the ban on night flights from 22:00 and 06:00 in the morning.  The government insist that the expansion of the airport provides opportunities for economic growth. However, they realise they have a real problem with aircraft noise and the extent of persistent citizen opposition. In the past week,three new measures had been adopted on noise, including an increase in the angle of approach and an increase in altitude. The protesters to not intend to give up their opposition. Great photos.


 

There is also a short video clip – in English. And a good YouTube video in German.

Fluglärm-Special

A year on from the opening of the northwest runway at Frankfurt: Several hundred demonstrators hold vigil

21/10/2012  (Allgemeine Zeitung )

Original article in German at 

http://www.allgemeine-zeitung.de/nachrichten/politik/hessen/12525628.htm

Demonstration on the occasion of the first anniversary of the northwest runway at Frankfurt.  Photo: AP

Imperfect translation from the German below:

On Sunday, a year after the opening of the new runway at Frankfurt airport,  thousands protested against the increasing noise in the region.  On a bright autumn day they drove by shuttle bus from the terminal to the fence next to the runway and showed their anger with music,  using drums and trumpets.

The organizers, a coalition of some 60 citizens’ groups spoke of 8,000 participants. They demanded to bury the construction of the planned third terminal. “Finally stop greed and megalomania,” shouted one speaker  – addressed to the airport operator Fraport.

Vigil outside the departure terminal

Previously, several hundred protesters were demonstrating against the airport’s expansion at a vigil outside the departure terminal. The protest musician “Klaus violinist” from Cologne summarized the displeasure of noise opponents: “What can I say except that it’s shit.”

The road next to the runway lit up with yellow of the protest movement.   Banners read: “Today is Black Sunday”, “Aircraft noise makes you sick” or “Dirty Landing”. 

Guest speaker John Stewart, president of the European aircraft noise opponents (UECNA)  stressed the solidarity of the airport noise-plagued residents in other regions. “You are not alone,” he said, pointing to successful protests against runways in Munich, London Heathrow and Sienna in Italy. “In none of these airports was an extension necessary.” If all plane journeys shorter than 500 km could be moved by rail, you can save 45% of the total air traffic in Europe.”

The number of participants shows that the protest are not diminishing, but go on, said an activist. “Fraport does not believe that there is a custom process or movement sleep,” said the spokesman of the organizers, Michael Wilk. [meaning people do not just get use to the noise, and cope with sleeping through it].

Protests do not stop

Since the opening of the new runway, exactly one year ago, the protests have been continuous. The citizens’ initiatives demonstrate every Monday in the departure hall of Terminal 1. They go there with whistles and horns through the terminal’s hall, and, there are rarely less than 1,000 demonstrators.

According to police, there were no incidents on Sunday.  The street of the rally was closed to public traffic. The airport operator Fraport urged their passengers to plan for delays in arrival.

http://www.allgemeine-zeitung.de/nachrichten/politik/hessen/12525628.htm

 


 Photos of the protest:

from http://www.hr-online.de/website/rubriken/nachrichten/index.jsp?rubrik=71831&key=standard_document_46420497

Image: © picture-alliance/dpa
Buckle up and let’s go: noise opponents gather directly at the fence of the runway. With a Lufthansa Airbus in the background, protesters gave their views against aircraft noise.
Image: © picture-alliance/dpa
With drums, trumpets and ear muffsm the protesters expressed their displeasure with increased aircraft noise.
Image: © picture-alliance/dpa
With a poster saying “profit lust instead of humanity,” another protester wearing their protest on display.
Image: © picture-alliance/dpa
A protester against the construction of the new runway.His poster alludes to the famous painting of “The Scream” by Edvard Munch.
Image: © picture-alliance/dpa
Away from the group of demonstrators, close to the fence of the trajectory, two runway opponents are on the road. They feel “threatened Fraportgeier”.

Thousands protest on edge of hated fourth riunway at Frankfurt. http://twitter.yfrog.com/moa8pkwj

Frankfurt still in revolt one year after runway opens http://twitter.yfrog.com/h0z10lmj

 

http://twitter.yfrog.com/h0z10lmj

Just sipok to thousands of protesters on edge of Frankfurt runway.  Inspiring, http://twitter.yfrog.com/khryyzij

 


 

Article at http://www.hr-online.de/website/rubriken/nachrichten/index.jsp?rubrik=71831&key=standard_document_46420497

 

Runway anniversary.  With violin and big band against aircraft noise

Several thousand people protested against the runway.

Exactly one year ago, that the Northwest runway at Frankfurt Airport went into operation. The protests against aircraft noise tear since coming: Several thousand people demonstrated on the anniversary of the airport.

For the first “birthday” of Runway Northwest were on Sunday afternoon, police said around 3,500 aircraft noise opponents pulled before the fence in Kelsterbach Forest. The organizers – a coalition of citizens’ groups from across the Rhine-Main area – said there were up to 8,000 participants.

With trumpets and drums, banners and flags to protest against the increase border noise in the region – this will experienced by the subject as physical and mental violence, said a spokesman for the Alliance. The health effects from noise and exhaust fumes were immeasurable.

Thousands noise opponents demonstrate

“Stop greed and megalomania”

“Fraport need not believe that there is a habituation process or movement sleep,” said Michael Wilk, the spokesman for the organizers and announced that would continue the so-called Monday demonstrations in one of the airport terminal. The demand of the aircraft noise opponents is clear: the extension of the ban on night flights from 22:00 and 06:00 in the morning and the closing of the new runway.

Also, set the demonstrators for a construction freeze on the third terminal of the airport. “Stop finally greed and megalomania,” shouted one speaker at Fraport addressed.

Heralded the actions were musical: The start was the protest musician “Klaus violinist” from Cologne. “What can I say, except that it’s crap,” concluded the musicians along the displeasure of the demonstrators. Also, a big band from Mainz, which has also suffered  aircraft noise showed solidarity with the demonstrators.

At noon, the protests had begun a vigil in front of the departure hall of the airport. “Enough! Off! Basta!” was the motto under which around 60 were called citizens’ initiatives for the demonstration.

100,000 takeoffs and landings less

Another key demand of the protesters is a reduction in air traffic by 100,000 to 380,000 takeoffs and landings per year. Support there was on this point by the President of the European aircraft noise opponents, John Stewart. “You are not alone,” he said, pointing to successful protests against runways in Munich, London Heathrow and the Italian Sienna. If all the flights that are shorter than 500 km, would be shifted to rail, in any of these airports need an extension, said Stewart.

Police said the protests were peaceful, and a slip road  to the airport had been closed. The airport operator Fraport had warned passengers in advance before the effects of the rally. Travelers should plan for delays in arrival, Fraport had recommended.

Government emphasizes growth opportunities

After decades of debate, the runway was opened on 21st October 2011. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), was the first person who had landed on the 2,800-meter runway. Thus, not only the protest of airport expansion opponent marks from the adjacent municipalities, for a year the leaders in politics and business have repeated how important  the airport development is to the region.

For the black-yellow state government to restrict air traffic is not in question. Economy Minister Florian Rentsch (FDP) was rather ahead of Jubliäums defended the new runway and stresses the positive effect of the ban on night flights. “Thus, the state government found a balance between the interests of residents and those of aviation,” said Rentsch.

The CDU stressed that the expansion of the airport have a new growth opportunity. At the same time, the reduction of noise pollution remains a constant task, said the economic policy spokesman of the CDU, Walter Arnold. On Thursday, three new measures had been adopted on noise, including an increase in the angle of approach and an increase in altitude.

Greens and the Left support protests

The opposition in parliament renewed its criticism of the state government. Even after a year, they have not taken effective measures against noise, the Greens declared in advance that plan to a report of the “Frankfurter Rundschau”, according to a further attempt to have the fourth runway at the airport closed. The party will therefore examine whether “public order” is threatened by aircraft noise.

The Social Democrats also accused the state government for mainly acting too late and not adequately.

http://www.hr-online.de/website/rubriken/nachrichten/index.jsp?rubrik=71831&key=standard_document_46420497


 

Original German at:

Landebahn-Jubiläum

Mit Geige und Bigband gegen Fluglärm

Fluglärmgegner bei der Demonstration gegen die neue Landebahn. (Bild:  picture-alliance/dpa)

Vergrößern

Mehrere tausend Menschen protestierten gegen die Landebahn.

Genau ein Jahr ist es her, dass die Nordwestlandebahn am Frankfurter Flughafen in Betrieb ging. Die Proteste gegen Fluglärm reißen seitdem nicht ab: Mehrere Tausend Menschen haben zum Jubiläum am Flughafen demonstriert.

, 21.10.2012)

Zum ersten “Geburtstag” der Landebahn Nordwest waren am Sonntagmittag nach Polizeiangaben rund 3.500 Fluglärmgegner vor den Zaun im Kelsterbacher Wald gezogen. Die Veranstalter – ein Bündnis von Bürgerinitiativen aus dem gesamten Rhein-Main-Gebiet – sprachen dagegen von bis zu 8.000 Teilnehmern.Mit Pauken und Trompeten, Transparenten und Fahnen protestierten sie gegen den zunehmenenden Fluglärm in der Region – dieser werde von den Betroffenen als physische und seelische Gewalt erlebt, sagte ein Sprecher des Bündnisses. Die gesundheitlichen Schäden durch Lärm und Abgase seien unermesslich.

“Stoppen Sie Gier und Größenwahn”

“Fraport braucht nicht zu glauben, dass es einen Gewöhnungsprozess gibt oder die Bewegung einschläft”, sagte Michael Wilk, der Sprecher der Veranstalter und kündigte an, die sogenannten Montagsdemonstrationen im Terminal eins des Flughafens würden weitergehen. Die Forderung der Fluglärmgegner ist klar umrissen: die Ausweitung des Nachtflugverbots auf die Zeit zwischen 22 und sechs Uhr morgens und die Schließung der neuen Landebahn.Außerdem setzen sich die Demonstranten für einen Baustopp am dritten Terminal des Flughafens ein. “Stoppen Sie endlich Gier und Größenwahn”, rief ein Redner an Fraport adressiert.Eingeläutet wurden die Aktionen musikalisch: Den Auftakt machte der Protestmusiker “Klaus der Geiger” aus Köln. “Was soll man sagen, außer dass es Scheiße ist”, fasste der Musiker den Unmut der Demonstranten zusammen. Auch eine Bigband aus Mainz, das ebenfalls unter gestiegenem Fluglärm zu leiden hat, zeigte Solidarität mit den Demonstranten.

Am Mittag hatten die Proteste mit einer Mahnwache vor der Abflughalle des Flughafens begonnen. “Schluss! Aus! Basta!” lautete das Motto, unter dem rund 60 Bürgerinitiativen zu der Demonstration aufgerufen hatten.

100.000 Starts und Landungen weniger

Mehr zum Thema

hr-online schaut auf die Diskussion um die Nordwestbahn des Frankfurter Flughafens.

Eine weitere Hauptforderung der Demonstranten ist eine Reduzierung des Flugverkehrs um 100.000 auf 380.000 Starts und Landungen pro Jahr. Unterstützung gab es in diesem Punkt vom Präsidenten der europäischen Fluglärmgegner, John Stewart. “Ihr seid nicht allein”, sagte er und verwies auf erfolgreiche Proteste gegen Landebahnen in München, London-Heathrow und im italienischen Sienna. Wenn sämtliche Flüge, die kürzer als 500 Kilometer seien, auf die Schiene verlagert würden, sei an keinem dieser Flughäfen ein Ausbau nötig, meinte Stewart.Für die Proteste, die nach Polizeiangaben friedlich verlaufen sind, war eine Zubringerstraße zum Flughafen gesperrt worden. Der Flughafenbetreiber Fraport hatte Passagiere im Vorfeld vor Auswirkungen der Kundgebung gewarnt. Reisende sollten Verzögerungen bei der Anreise einplanen, hatte Fraport empfohlen.

Landesregierung betont Wachstumschancen

Nach jahrzehntelangen Debatten wurde die Landebahn am 21. Oktober 2011 in Betrieb genommen. Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) war die Erste, die auf der 2.800 Meter langen Landebahn Nordwest gelandet war. Damit jährt sich nicht nur der Protest der Flughafenausbaugegner aus den angrenzenden Kommunen, seit einem Jahr wiederholen die Verantwortlichen aus Politik und Wirtschaft, wie wichtig der Ausbau für die Region war.Für die schwarz-gelbe Landesregierung kommt eine Einschränkung des Flugverkehrs keinesfalls in Frage. Wirtschaftsminister Florian Rentsch (FDP) hatte vielmehr im Vorfeld des Jubliäums die neue Landebahn verteidigt und die positive Wirkung des Nachtflugverbots betont. “Damit hat die Landesregierung einen Ausgleich zwischen den Interessen der Anwohner und denen der Luftfahrt gefunden”, erklärte Rentsch.Die CDU hob hervor, dass der Ausbau des Flughafens neue Wachstumschancen eröffnet habe. Gleichzeitig bleibe die Reduzierung der Lärmbelastung eine beständige Aufgabe, sagte der wirtschaftspolitische Sprecher der CDU-Fraktion, Walter Arnold. Erst am Donnerstag waren drei neue Maßnahmen zum Lärmschutz umgesetzt worden, darunter eine Anhebung des Anflugwinkels und eine Erhöhung der Flughöhe.

Grüne und Linke unterstützen Proteste

Die Opposition im Landtag erneuerte ihre Kritik an der Landesregierung. Auch nach einem Jahr habe sie keine wirksamen Maßnahmen gegen Lärm ergriffen, erklärten die Grünen im Vorfeld, die einem Bericht der “Frankfurter Rundschau” zufolge einen weiteren Anlauf planen, die vierte Piste am Flughafen schließen zu lassen. Die Partei will demnach prüfen lassen, ob die “öffentliche Sicherheit und Ordnung” durch Fluglärm gefährdet ist.Auch die Sozialdemokraten warfen der Landesregierung vor, zu spät und vor allem nicht ausreichend gehandelt zu haben.http://www.hr-online.de/website/rubriken/nachrichten/index.jsp?rubrik=71831&key=standard_document_46420497

Read more »

Protesters evicted from homes for demolition for future Nantes airport.

A major evacuation operation by security forces of houses squatted by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of Nantes took place on Tuesday morning. Eleven houses and land that had been occupied on the site of the future airport were evacuated without incident by more than 500 gendarmes. At the first home  some 150 protesters, some of whom are locals and some anti-globalisation activists, had gathered.   Homes that have been evacuated are now subject to enhanced surveillance before being demolished “in the coming days.” The airport developers want preparatory work for road improvements serving this “inter airport” between Nantes and Rennes to begin by the end of the year. Work on the airport itself must begin in 2014 for commissioning in 2017.  The airport plans have been approved by the State and local socialist party, but the new airport’s usefulness is disputed, on economic grounds as well as its environmental impact.



There is a short (2 minutes 45 secs) video clip of one of the evictions on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfKHgwLR9kc&feature=youtu.be

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There is a blog (in French) from those opposing the evictions and house demolitions at http://lutteaeroportnddl.wordpress.com/

There is also a website about the ZAD (Zone A Défendre) with passionate defence by the local people, whose land is being taken and whose home area is being irrevocably damaged by this new airport project.  Some of it is in English, as is this letter to the Prefect of the Loire-Atlantique Department on 22nd October at  http://zad.nadir.org/spip.php?article380   

It is a very sad situation, with many people battling passionately to preserve land, the farming community, and this peaceful rural area, as it is today – against what they see as an unnecessary, mega-project imposed on them by forces outside their control.


Some photos of the destruction:

http://lutteaeroportnddl.wordpress.com/

(The caption on the photo translates as “thugs attack the house, protected by police”)

 


There is also a short video showing a demonstration on 18th October in Nantes, against the airport.  It is at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xufuuw_manif-anti-aeroport-nddl_news


Airport project: first house destroyed Notre-Dame-des-Landes

Airport project: first house destroyed Notre-Dame-des-Landes.  AFP PHOTO JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD

Airport project: first house destroyed Notre-Dame-des-Landes. 17th October 2012

 

 


 

Occupants evicted from future site of Nantes airport

NOTRE-DAME-DES-LANDES, Loire-Atlantique (Reuters) – Eleven houses and illegally occupied land on the site of the future airport …

Eviction of the occupants of the site of the future airport of Nantes

evacuation by the police of illegally occupied land and houses on the site of the future airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes. 

 Photo taken October 16, 2012

/REUTERS / Stephane Mahe

NOTRE-DAME-DES-LANDES, Loire-Atlantique (Reuters)
-Eleven houses and illegally occupied land on the site of the future airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) were evacuated without incident on Tuesday at dawn by more than 500 gendarmes.
First home, to which had converged since Saturday evening more than 150 anti-globalization activists and radicals opposed, was evacuated on Monday by security forces.
“The operation went without clashes characterized, there simply was corrupt delay as barricades on fire or some people mounted on the roof,” said the prefect of Loire-Atlantique, Christian de Lavernée, after evacuation.
The police did not conduct any inquiry, he said.  Homes evacuated are now subject to enhanced surveillance before being demolished “in the coming days.”
“For over a year, the area declared a public utility for the creation of future airport west of the great harbors of the illegal occupants,” was justified earlier, the prefecture said in a statement. “They have invested spaces and undeveloped acquired by the concessionaire and the state.”
A PROJECT FUNDED BY AYRAULT
Preparatory work for road improvements serving this “inter airport” between Nantes and Rennes must begin by the end of the year. Those of the airport itself must begin in 2014 for commissioning in 2017.
Evictions were decided by judges at the end of judicial proceedings by Aéroports the Great West (AGO), a subsidiary of Vinci.
“This should not be confused with persons lawfully present site before the date of declaration of public utility project in 2008 and involved an expropriation procedure whose execution is not valid “said the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique.
Construction and concession of the future airport, located 30 km north of Nantes, were assigned to the Vinci group, which evaluates its cost €560 million. It will pay €320, the rest being paid by the state (€125.5 million) and local (€115.5 million).
The project, which environmentalists claim abandonment is supported by the State and supported by local elected socialists, including the prime minister and former deputy mayor of Nantes Jean-Marc Ayrault.
Presented by its promoters as a “transfer” of the current Nantes-Atlantique Airport, located in the immediate vicinity of the city and threatened in their saturation future equipment designed to reduce nuisance in terms of noise and the feeling of insecurity a portion of the inhabitants of the city overflown by aircraft.
Guillaume Frouin, edited by Yves Clarisse

 

Original in French at

http://www.rmc.fr/editorial/309966/des-occupants-expulses-du-site-du-futur-aeroport-de-nantes/

 

The French countryside on Tuesd ay morning as police prepare to evict activists.

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Expulsion of future opponents Nantes airport

The police began to evacuate this morning in which several houses were installed adversaries airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

A major evacuation operation by security forces in squatted houses by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of Nantes, took place on Tuesday morning. Dozens of police vehicles and riot police converged during the night from several directions in convoy to this area and the first evacuations began shortly before 7 am, according to opponents of the airport.  More than 500 policemen and CRS were involved, it according to the police.

Several helicopters hovered overhead and opponents had ignited a dam/barrage across a road in the middle of a grove of dense hedges and ditches. To 7:15, at a place called the Bel Air, CRS approached to ask the occupants to leave. After the evacuation of their furniture these, twenty people were forcibly evacuated by chanting “we are not thugs” and “we live here, we are staying here” 

Operation “concerns seven illegal occupations of built spaces and built four undeveloped zones of illegal occupation” , said the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique in a statement.  “This should not be confused with persons lawfully present on the site since before the declaration of the  public utility project in 2008 and involved an expropriation procedure whose execution is not valid “ , said the prefecture.

Work planned for early 2013

For the occasion, opponents locally put out information on intervention on the frequency 107.7, usually the highways of Vinci, the dealer group of the airport project, and confirmed that first house started to be evacuated around 6:45 am.  A first expulsion of fifteen people was held on 9 October in a town near Notre-Dame-des-Landes.  Another took place on Monday evening in a closed and guarded house, by the concessionaire of the project du Grand Ouest Airport (AGO), reoccupied since Saturday by hundreds of activists, at  Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

Preparatory work for the construction of the airport (archaeological assessment, construction of road bar) should begin in early 2013 with completion expected in 2017 and imply that the houses purchased by the dealer and those who have undergone a expulsion procedure are largely empty.

The airport project 30 km north of Nantes, is intended to replace in 2017  the existing Nantes Atlantique airport, which is located south of the city, has been approved by the State and local socialist collectives, but the new airport’s usefulness is disputed by many associations, which also highlight its environmental impact and cost.

In addition to the farmers affected by the expropriation procedures, hundreds of activists opposed to the project and close to anarchist movements have been permanently installed for over three years. These opponents have already called for the “reoccupation” in deportation cases.

http://www.liberation.fr/societe/2012/10/16/expulsion-d-opposants-au-futur-aeroport-de-nantes_853529

 

Original French:

Expulsion d’opposants au futur aéroport de Nantes

La gendarmerie a commencé ce matin à évacuer plusieurs maisons dans lesquelles se sont installés des adversaires de l’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

Une importante opération d’évacuation par les forces de l’ordre de maisons squattées par des opposants au projet d’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, au nord de Nantes, a eu lieu mardi matin. Plusieurs dizaines de véhicules de gendarmerie et de CRS ont convergé dans la nuit de plusieurs directions en convoi vers cette zone et les premières évacuations ont débuté peu avant 7 heures, selon les opposants à l’aéroport. Plus de 500 gendarmes et CRS étaient engagés, a-t-on appris sur place auprès des forces de l’ordre.

Plusieurs hélicoptères tournaient au dessus des lieux et les opposants avaient enflammé un barrage en travers d’une des routes, au milieu d’un bocage très dense de haies et de fossés. Vers 7h15, au lieu-dit le Bel Air, des CRS se sont approchés pour demander aux occupants des lieux de partir. Après l’évacuation de leurs meubles ces derniers, une vingtaine de personnes, ont été évacués de force en scandant «on n’est pas des voyous» et «on vit ici, on reste ici».

L’opération «concerne sept occupations illégales sur des espaces bâtis et quatre zones d’occupation illégales non bâties», a indiqué la préfecture de Loire-Atlantique dans un communiqué. «Cette situation ne doit pas être confondue avec celle des personnes présentes légalement sur le site depuis avant la date de déclaration d’utilité publique du projet en 2008 et concernées par une procédure d’expropriation dont l’exécution n’est pas d’actualité», a ajouté la préfecture.

Travaux prévus début 2013

Pour l’occasion, les opposants émettaient localement des informations sur l’intervention sur la fréquence 107.7, d’ordinaire celle des autoroutes Vinci, le groupe concessionnaire du projet d’aéroport, et affirmaient qu’une première maison avait commencé à être évacuée vers 6h45. Une première expulsion d’une quinzaine de personnes s’était déroulée le 9 octobre dans une commune proche de Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Une autre a eu lieu lundi soir dans une maison fermée et gardée par le concessionnaire du projet d’Aéroport du Grand Ouest (AGO), réoccupée depuis samedi par une centaine de militants, à Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

Les travaux préparatoires à la construction de l’aéroport (bilan archéologique, construction du barreau routier) doivent commencer début 2013 pour un achèvement prévu en 2017 et impliquent que les maisons rachetées par le concessionnaire et celles qui ont fait l’objet d’une procédure d’expulsion soient en grande partie vidées.

Ce projet d’aéroport à 30 km au nord de Nantes, destiné à remplacer en 2017 l’actuel aéroport de Nantes Atlantique situé au sud de l’agglomération, a été validé par l’Etat et les collectivités locales socialistes, mais son utilité est contestée par de nombreuses associations, qui mettent aussi en avant son impact environnemental et son coût.

Outre les agriculteurs touchés par les procédures d’expropriations, une centaine de militants hostiles à ce projet et proches des mouvances anarchistes se sont durablement installés depuis plus de trois ans. Ces opposants ont déjà appelé à la «réoccupation» en cas d’expulsion.

(AFP)

 

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Monday evening saw a large convoy through CRS Nantes.

Monday evening saw a large convoy of police vehicles through Nantes on their way to the evictions. 

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Notre-Dame-des-Landes : les squatteurs anti-aéroport évacués

16 OCTOBRE 2012 

Les forces de l’ordre ont évacué mardi matin une partie des opposants au projet d’aéroport près de Nantes, qui occupent le site depuis trois ans. Ils ont appelé à la “réoccupation” en cas d’expulsion.

Depuis trois ans, les “squatteurs” de Notre-Dame-des-Landes sont installés dans des yourtes et des maisons désertées. © Reuters Stephane Mahe

7h ce matin : 500 gendarmes et CRS, plusieurs dizaines de véhicules et hélicoptère convergent vers le lieu-dit le Bel Air, à 30km de Nantes, pour procéder à l’évacuation d’une centaine de militants hostiles au projet  d’aéroport destiné à remplacer d’ici 2017 celui de Nantes Atlantique. Le dispositif, baptisé “Opération César”, est le plus important déployé jusque ici sur les lieux.

“On vit ici, on reste ici”

Evacués de force avec leurs meubles, les militants scandent “On n’est pas des voyous“, “On vit ici, on reste ici“. Depuis trois ans, ces opposants au projet, agriculteurs concernés par les procédures d’expropriation ou proches des mouvances anarchistes, se sont installés sur le site dans des maisons désaffectées et des yourtes, décidés à empêcher la construction de l’aéroport. Un projet dont ils dénoncent l’impact environnemental et le coût.

Les travaux doivent commencer au début de l’année prochaine, et impliquent que les maisons rachetées par le concessionnaire et celles qui ont fait l’objet d’une procédure d’expulsion soient en grande partie vidées. 1.600 hectares attribués au groupe Vinci sont concernés par la procédure d’expropriation.

Les “squatteurs” appellent à la réoccupation des lieux

Les forces de l’ordre avaient déjà procédé à une première expulsion d’une quinzaine de personnes le 9 octobre dans une commune proche, tandis qu’une autre a eu lieu lundi soir dans une maison fermée et gardée par le concessionnaire du projet d’aéroport, réoccupée depuis samedi par une centaine de militants.
Ce matin, au milieu d’un bocage de haies et de fossés, ceux qu’on appelle là-bas les “squatteurs” ont enflammé un barrage, en appelant déjà à la “réoccupation” du site en cas d’expulsion.

http://www.franceinfo.fr/societe/notre-dame-des-landes-les-squatteurs-anti-aeroport-evacues-770413-2012-10-16

 

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Notre-Dame-des-Landes: evacuation of squatted houses

NOTRE-DAME-DES-LANDES (Loire-Atlantique) – A major evacuation operation by security forces in squatted houses by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of Nantes took place Tuesday morning, noted journalists from AFP.

 

Notre-Dame-des-Landes: evacuation of squatted houses
Evacuation by police 16 October 2012 a squatted house by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes

 

afp.com / Damien Meyer

 

Dozens of police vehicles and riot police converged on the night several directions in convoy to this area, noted AFP, and the first evacuations began shortly before 7:00 am, according to opponents of the airport. More than 500 policemen and CRS were involved, it was learned on the premises of the police. 

Several helicopters turned over places and opponents had ignited a dam across a road, found the AFP journalists in the middle of a grove of dense hedges and ditches. 

To 7:15, at a place called the Bel Air, CRS approached to ask the occupants to leave. After the evacuation of their furniture these, twenty people were forcibly evacuated by chanting ” we are not thugs “and” we live here, stays here . ” 

Operation ” for seven illegal occupation of spaces and built four zones of occupation illegal undeveloped , “said the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique in a statement. 

” This should not be confused with persons lawfully present on the site since before the declaration of public utility project in 2008 and involved an expropriation procedure whose execution is not valid“said the prefecture. 

For the occasion, opponents locally emitted information on intervention on the frequency 107.7, usually the highways Vinci, the dealer group airport project, and claimed that first house began to be evacuated to 6:45 am. 

First expulsion of fifteen people was held on 9 October in a town near Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Another took place on Monday evening in a house closed and guarded by the concessionaire of the project du Grand Ouest Airport (AGO), reoccupied since Saturday by hundreds of activists, Notre-Dame-des-Landes. 

Preparatory work for the construction of the airport (archaeological assessment, construction of road bar) should begin in early 2013 with completion expected in 2017 and imply that the houses purchased by the dealer and those who have undergone a procedure deportation are largely empty. 

The airport project 30 km north of Nantes, in 2017 to replace the existing Nantes Atlantique airport located south of the city, has been approved by the State and local socialist, but its usefulness is disputed by many associations, which also highlight its environmental impact and cost. 

In addition to the farmers affected by the expropriation procedures, hundreds of activists opposed to the project and close movements anarchists are permanently installed for over three years. These opponents have already called for the ” reoccupation “in deportation cases. 

http://www.lexpress.fr/actualites/1/societe/notre-dame-des-landes-operation-d-evacuation-de-maisons-squattees_1174887.html

 

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Major evacuation of squatted houses by opponents Nantes airport

The Monde.fr with AFP | 

 

Evacuation by police squatted houses by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of Nantes, Tuesday, Oct. 16.

 

A major evacuation operation by security forces in squatted houses by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of Nantes, began Tuesday, October 16 in the morning. Dozens of police vehicles converged on the night train to this area, and the first evacuations began shortly before 7 am, according to opponents of the airport. More than 500 policemen and CRS were involved, according to police.

Several helicopters hovering over places and opponents had ignited a dam across a road in the middle of a grove of dense hedges and ditches. 7 to 15 h, at a place called Bel-Air, gendarmes approached to ask the occupants to leave in five minutes. After the evacuation of their furniture, these, twenty people were forcibly evacuated by chanting “we are not thugs” and “we live here, stays here” .

 

 

Policemen squatted houses are evacuate by opponents of the airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes, on October 16 near Nantes.

 

Operation “for seven illegal occupation of spaces and built four zones of occupation illegal undeveloped” , said the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique. For the occasion, opponents locally emitted information on the frequency response 107.7, usually the highways Vinci, the dealer group airport project.

First expulsion of fifteen people was held on 9 October in a town near Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Another took place on Monday evening in a house closed and guarded by the dealer of the proposed Airport West Grand , reoccupied since Saturday by hundreds of activists, Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

SQUATTERS AND FARMERS AGAINST AIRPORT

Preparatory work for the construction of the airport (archaeological assessment, construction of road bar) should begin in early 2013 with completion expected in 2017 and imply that the houses purchased by the dealer and those who have undergone a procedure deportation are almost all empty.

The airport project 30 km north of Nantes, for replace the existing airport in 2017 from Nantes Atlantique in the south of the city, has been approved by the State and local socialist, but its usefulness is disputed by many associations, which also highlight its environmental impact and cost.

Read: A ‘new Larzac’ under the feet of Jean-Marc Ayrault

In addition to the farmers affected by the expropriation proceedings, hundreds of activists opposed to the project and close movements anarchists, nicknamed the “squatters” were permanently installed in over three years, investing tens of deserted houses or building huts. A significant portion of these houses could be evacuated Tuesday morning, but for several months the opponents at the airport who were preparing evacuations have already called for the “reoccupation” in deportation cases.

http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2012/10/16/importante-operation-d-evacuation-de-maisons-squattees-par-les-opposants-a-l-aeroport-de-nantes_1775934_3244.html

(includes a short film clip)

 

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There is more information about Nantes airport at 

Nantes International Airport – not yet built

 and Nantes Airport News

Read more »

Nantes airport protest at the Eiffel Tower, complete with sheep and tractor

Over the weekend, the very active and energetic protest group against a new airport at Notre Dame des Landes, near Nantes, took their protest to Paris. This coincides with an environmental conference taking place in Paris, but which will not discuss the airport issue. The protesters managed to quickly get a tractor close to the Eiffel Tower, the main symbolic image of Paris, and erect a pen for some sheep they had brought with them, which they grazed on the grass around the tower in the Champ-de-Mars.  All this was watched with great interest by bemused tourists, who took loads of photos, as seeing sheep, tractor and protesters under the Eiffel Tower is not something one expects to see every day. The protest is against President Hollande’s support for building the airport, and his refusal to meet them. The protest continued over night.



 

There are many photos of the protest at Nantes protest in Paris and also at Nantes protest at Eiffel Tower

 

The odyssey Paris …

 From ACIPA 
The original French is at
http://parolesdecampagne.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/lodyssee-parisiennepremier-jour.html
16.9.2012
Below is a very poor translation of the French (blame Google translate) but you can get an impression ….)
The opening of the conference with the omission of Environmental sensitive subjects (Notre Dame des Landes and shale gas) could leave us without reaction. Because a show was scheduled to come to the palace Jena on September 14, just to remind the President Holland Project Notre Dame and request meetings; further action was needed and unexpected as evidence. And we’re off Thursday morning with tractor and sheep in Paris.

Facing the impressive safe deployment deployed around the palace Jena, we chose a symbolic place: the Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars.

Wink at Larzac course that would have led TV journalists seeking an original approach to the Conference to visit us. The only TV to meet us was “free TV” whose journalists have a long story and seemed very interested in the subject. We also had radio (France Inter, RTL) and some journalists Presse (AFP newspaper).
Draw attention  to put Notre Dame des Landes in the order of environmental issues, such was our ambition.  Noticed, we were!
Installation commando operation carried out in minutes: tractor landed (it only remained to decorate), dropped in sheep nimbly mounted enclosure. All this under the eye rather amused and amazed passersby, tourists nimbly unsheathed their camera and photographing everything goes: sheep and a tractor in front of the Eiffel Tower, it does not see every day!
 Different services are rapidly authorities. First men in charge of the green lawn: “You must remove the sheep lawn is at rest! And your pegs? You must have damaged the sprinkler heads buried in the grass … “.
Then the men in blue safety of Paris and those of the police. All course want to speak to a manager who is found since we are all responsible! Then we overhear telephone conversations between surrealist employees and their chefs: “OK, we seek the license plate of the tractor! “Dominique hastened immediately to cover it with a sheet triangle not at the airport. Fortunately, there are the remains of an old plate cut in two occupying the overzealous police not (that one should find us friendly). “Yes, (leader), we verbalize sheep. But then the batch or individually?“. As soon as he hung up, the employee says, “I do not see a plate, I take it into my head that photo for me alone.The police are there … It does look as … “. Disagreements between men in blue we serve.
Of telephone negotiations … We undertake thirty: is it enough to resist and stay? Our strength is to be under the eye of tourists whose passage is incessant. This is what keeps us moving surely forcibly. The monitoring device is lighter: we now unmarked car with officials of the Directorate of Public Order and Traffic monitor us. Therefore, we take every opportunity arise:

         the arrival of a married couple we photograph the tractor

         a parade of two horses who park in front of us a long time waiting for the people that drivers should take the restaurant. The tractor is then inserted in the procession and will even several times around the place to start cars.

         The same operation is extended with scooters but they are fast and let go fast enough Dominique … Whatever, it is still the opportunity to ride and even go strolling through the aisles …

         affixing stickers ACIPA all the tourist buses that stop in front of us …

(Gaspilage means wastage or squandering)

 

 

 

 


 

Opponents of airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes settle the Champ-de-Mars in Paris. 

13.9.2012

CIMG7467.JPG

 A group of 25 opposition to the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes arrived in Paris today , 30 to 15 h. Parties Notre-Dame-des-Landes with a tractor and sheep, they moved to the Champ-de-Mars. These opponents criticize the environmental conference on 14 and 15 September “censor taboo subjects, including the draft Notre-Dame-des-Landes.” They also intend to “denounce the financial abyss that is this project, so that the economic crisis is the fiscal restraint that should be imposed, and condemn the decision to build an airport in destroying farmland, rather than develop the existing if needed. “

This Friday, another group of fifty people should join the marathon energy sobriety, place d’Iena, 9 am 30.

Tractors on the Champs Elysees! Sheep grazing beneath the Eiffel Tower!  Great protest in Paris by the campaigners against the new airport in Nantes against the support of the Hollande Government for the proposed new airport.

http://kalzadud.fr/perche/index.php?post/2012/09/13/Notre-Dame-des-Landes-au-champs-de-Mars-%C3%A0-Paris.-A-nous-la-liberter-d-agir]

 

Original text in French:

Des opposants à l’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes s’installent au Champ-de-Mars.

Un groupe de 25 opposants au projet d’aéroport à Notre-Dame-des-Landes est arrivé à Paris, aujourd’hui, vers 15 h 30. Partis de Notre-Dame-des-Landes avec un tracteur et des moutons, ils se sont installés au Champ-de-Mars. Ces opposants reprochent à la conférence environnementale des 14 et 15 septembre de « censurer les sujets tabous, dont le projet de Notre-Dame-des-Landes ». Ils entendent aussi « dénoncer le gouffre financier que serait ce projet, alors qu’en pleine crise économique, c’est la sobriété budgétaire qui devrait s’imposer ; et condamner le choix de construire un aéroport en détruisant le bocage, plutôt que d’aménager l’existant si besoin ».

Ce vendredi, un autre groupe de cinquante personnes devrait rejoindre le marathon de la sobriété énergétique, place d’Iéna, à 9 h 30.

Read more »

What the anti-airport protests in Germany and in Munich are about

 

 

A new third runway at Munich airport? 

May 2012

The German Spring: Young Friends of the Earth Bavaria opposing airport expansion

Young Friends of the Earth Bavaria in Germany have been campaigning against the expansion of airports in Germany. Florian Sperk tells us about the campaign against a new third runway at Munich airport.

Written by Florien Sperk, Young Friends of the Earth Bavaria

Since the first nationwide anti-noise demonstrations took place last October in Frankfurt, rumours of an emerging national movement against airport expansion have grown. So what’s up in Germany?

Over the last few years local protest groups around Germany’s three main airports – Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich – have been growing. In Frankfurt about 10,000 to 20,000 people are demonstrating regularly. In Berlin 7,000 to 15,000 people have marched against the new airport. And in Munich up to 7,000 people have taken part in protests. But this spring something new happened.

Something big is coming up

This spring the different groups started noticing each other, and began to recognise the power they can have in working together. In Germany all aviation issues are planned and decided at a local and regional level by town halls, not at a national level. Thus there has been a lack of a national debate around aviation. Germany has never really asked itself key questions: about the value of the different airports to the economy, or whether there should be limits to growth, or what role a reduction in domestic flights could play in the national strategy to stop climate change. Many people are arguing that the time is now right to put the expansion of the aviation industry on the national agenda. And they could be right. The profits of Germany’s main airline, Lufthansa, are tumbling. There may be no need for further expansion.

The third runway in Munich!

We now look at the current protest in Munich within the context of the bigger, national picture. In Munich the expansion of the airport is said to be needed to keep possible delays below 4 minutes over the next 20 to 30 years, assuming maximum usage of the airport. Some people might think this is a joke. But is not. It is actually the main justification given for the third runway. The authorities want to make sure maximum delay shall always be less than 4 minutes, even if the demand for flights doubles. The reality is, though, that the demand for flights is decreasing every month. So there is already evidence that the biggest climate-killer of Bavaria simply does not need to expand. The third runway in Munich can and will be stopped.

No third runway in Munich!

The main reasons Young Friends of the Earth Bavaria want to stop the third runway are explained in the following short movie, made by Young Friends of the Earth Bavaria.

But, for those how don’t speak German, the reasons are:

1) The airport has debts of about 2.7 billion Euros.

2) The airport has made a profit only three times in its 20 year existence

3) The third runway will cost more than 1.2 billion Euros. And all this money will be spend for a saving of 4 minutes, at a time when the budgets for social projects are cut every year.

4) The airport is Bavaria’s biggest climate-killer – with about 10 % of the total emissions of Bavaria.

5) More than 1000 hectares of a conservation area for birds will be destroyed.

6) One of the last big fens in Bavaria will be critically damaged.

7) About 40,000 to 80,000 people will suffer of noise and air-pollution

 

Munich can become Germany’s Heathrow, the London activists say

Young Friends of the Earth Bavaria invited the successful activists of Plane Stupid and AirportWatch to Munich this spring. And guess what: John Stewart, one of the activists, told us that the current situation at Munich is very similar to the situation in London in the years before the third runway at Heathrow was finally stopped. And if the strategic mastermind of the Heathrow third runway campaign says something like this, it’s up to us in Young Friends of the Earth to answer with massive campaigning.

Find out more about the movement against airport expansion in Germany

Read more »

Climate protest at the gates of Buckingham Palace, quoting recent statement by Prince Charles

The Prince of Wales recently warned of the “catastrophic” consequences of inaction on issues such as climate change, at the Rio+20 talks. He said he had “watched in despair” at the slow pace of progress on the “critical issues of the day,” and urged world leaders to adopt a more integrated approach to issues such as climate change and food security. He said scientific evidence showed the potential consequences of ignoring the risks, and that the Doomsday clock of climate change is ticking ever faster towards midnight. We are simply not reacting fast enough.  Taking up this call, protesters from Climate Siren held a peaceful banner protest, hanging banners from the gates of Buckingham Palace, quoting Charles words – calling for more effective climate action.

 


Climate Siren Buckingham Palace ‘Royal’ Protest

 
Climate Activists locked themselves to the top of the gates of Buckingham Palace and displayed slogans including a quote from Prince Charles calling for greater urgency in combating climate change in response to the failure of the Rio Earth Summit.
23rd of June 2012
More photos: PreviousNext
Climate Activists with ‘Climate Emergency banner’ on barriers in front of fountain opposite Buckingham Palace during protest calling for greater urgency in combating climate change in response to the failure of the Rio Earth Summit.
 23.6.2012
Report by Peter Marshall, on the protest, on Demotix

‘Climate Siren’ protesters scaled the gates of Buckingham Palace this afternoon with banners in protest at the failure of the Rio+20 Earth Summit. When I arrived, there were a pair of protesters locked to the top of each of the two tall ornate gates in front of the palace, holding banners across each of them. On the bottom of the largest banner was a quote from Prince Charles, who talking about climate change on 14 Feb 2008 said “We are simply not reacting quickly enough.”

I got to the palace a few minutes after the 4 protesters had scaled the gates and locked themselves on. Police were holding back the crowd of tourists and a few photographers as the protest continued. The ‘Climate Siren’ protest had been widely trailed in the press and on a web site as “a great effort of civil disobedience” for today, but without any details as to what it would be or where. Late on Friday evening a Twitter post from ‘Climate Siren’ had given a time for those who wished to take part to meet at Euston station, and I travelled down to the event with the small group I found there, running ahead the last few hundred yards when I saw what was happening on the gates. These protesters had brought a large banner which they fixed on the barriers facing the palace in front of the Victoria Fountain.

As I was photographing the protesters on the gates one of the officers reached up and grabbed the bottom of the large banner, managing to tear off the small part naming Prince Charles under his quotation. Encouraged by this he climbed further up the gate and grabbed the whole bottom half of the banner with the Prince’s text and pulled on this. It gave way and he lost his hold, falling to the ground. Fortunately the bottom on which he landed was well padded and he rolled over having hurt little but his pride.

One of the protesters on the top of the gate was Phil Thornhill, the coordinator of the Campaign against Climate Change, and he had taken a megaphone up with him, so was able to tell the crowd of tourists who were watching what the protest was about and why it was necessary. In between speaking he used the megaphone as a ‘climate siren’ by generating some extremely loud feedback.

I left the protest roughly half an hour after it had begun and there was still no attempt being made to remove the protesters, with a small police presence simply watching them. It wasn’t clear if they were waiting for a specialist cutting team to remove the protesters or simply waiting until they got bored and came down of their own accord. They did however say that the protesters who had climbed the gates would be arrested, and suggested that others involved, including the legal observers who had come with the protesters – and even the photographers – might also be charged. But perhaps the officer speaking was simply rather frustrated and having been outsmarted by the protesters.

http://www.demotix.com/news/1294425/climate-siren-buckingham-palace-royal-protest#.T-bbNhfgjTo

There are also video clips at:

http://youtu.be/TQkMSOuNqYw   and  http://youtu.be/_tRbG9s2b1Y

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17 June 2012 (BBC)

Rio+20: Prince Charles in climate change warning

Video clip of his comments at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18479724  Clip courtesy The Royal Channel on YouTube

The Prince of Wales has warned of the “catastrophic” consequences of inaction on issues such as climate change, at a UN sustainability conference in Brazil.

Prince Charles said he had “watched in despair” at the slow pace of progress on the “critical issues of the day,” in a pre-recorded video address in Rio.

He urged world leaders to adopt a more integrated approach to issues such as climate change and food security.

Waiting for the worst to happen would be “too late to act at all”, he said.

Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, is attended by heads of state and representatives from governments, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.

In his address, the prince said scientific evidence showed the potential consequences of ignoring the risks.

‘Sceptical reluctance’

“Like a sleepwalker, we seem unable to wake up to the fact that so many of the catastrophic consequences of carrying on with ‘business-as-usual’ are bearing down on us faster than we think, already dragging many millions more people into poverty and dangerously weakening global food, water and energy security for the future,” he said.

“One thing is clear. We need to be much more informed about the actual state of the planet.

“We do not have nearly enough knowledge on which to base the decisions that will be the best for the long term.

“Until we do, we expose ourselves to the mounting danger of major shifts in policy that are not well conceived, but come as panicked responses to crises that could have been avoided.”

He said the “outright, sceptical reluctance” by some to engage with these issues had often slowed progress “to a standstill”.

Pointing to the work of his International Sustainability Unit, a foundation set up to campaign on global sustainability, the prince said a better picture of environmental problems was needed before effective policy could be implemented.

‘Don’t have long’

He said data on energy, water, biodiversity, forestry and soil, which is collected separately, needed to be combined and analysed as a whole.

“If this could happen, at least then we would know what the state of the planet actually is – and then plan accordingly,” he said.

He went on: “We do not have long to capture such a comprehensive picture, and so I would appeal to you as you meet here in Rio to make an even greater and concerted effort to persuade policy and decision-makers to act before it is finally too late.

“It is, perhaps, a trait of human nature to act only when the worst happens, but that is not a trait we can afford to rely on here.

“Once the worst does happen, I am afraid that this time around it will be too late to act at all.”

The conference marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second largest city.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18479724

Read more »

“Grow Heathrow” in court facing eviction from their organic gardening site in Sipson – (now delayed a few weeks)

The “Grow Heathrow” community, who have turned an area in Sipson that was once a “derelict mess”, into a thriving market garden, are facing eviction. However, the young people living there are popular with the local community, who want them to stay. When they arrived several years ago, they cleared as much as 30 tonnes of rubbish off the site, renovated greenhouses and now grow organic lettuces, courgettes,squashes etc.  The site happens to be where a 3rd runway was to be built – a location in many of their neighbours’ interests to protect. The owner of the land wants his land back, and a hearing at Central London County Court began on Monday but the judge has decided to take more time, so they are not due back in court for several weeks.  The court is expected to weigh up the human rights and hard work of those who have moved in against the simple fact the land is not theirs.


18 June 2012(BBC)

[There is more about Grow Heathrow on their website at http://www.transitionheathrow.com/grow-heathrow/ ]

 

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Court Update

18.6.2012  (From Transition Heathrow)

Court is now over and the most important thing everyone needs to know is that we have not yet been handed a judgement. The judge is going to take some more time to really read into the issues and both parties are expecting to receive a written judgement at some point in the next few weeks.

Overall we’re feeling positive that all the arguments have been heard and all we can do now is cross our fingers. We will share the news and probably call a press conference as soon as we find out the result. Keep checking the blog and following us on twitter for updates.

A collection of photos from outside Central London County Court can be found on our FLICKR site here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47991844@N06/sets/72157630181312522/

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From Twitter:

Transition Heathrow ‏@transheathrow  21.6.2012

Baroness Miller (House of Lords) statement added to our statements of support page on the websitehttp://www.transitionheathrow.com/statements/ #defendgrowhrow

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Transition Heathrow ‏@transheathrow   20.6.2012

The waiting game begins. Judgement letter expected in the post in next few weeks. It’s like waiting for exam results but with more at stake

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Transition Heathrow ‏@transheathrow  19.6.2012

Court is all over. Judge taking some more time and will be waiting a week or 2 before sending written judgement. #defendgrowhrow

 

 


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Grow Heathrow: Green-fingered squatters’ eviction fight

By Andy Dangerfield Grow Heathrow, Photo by Jonathan GoldbergLettuces and squashes are grown in renovated greenhouses

Squatters are rarely the most popular residents in a neighbourhood.

But on Vineries Close in Sipson, west London, resides a group of squatters many of the local people are keen to see stay.

Residents say they like the occupants because they have turned what was once a “derelict mess”, into a thriving market garden.

The squatters have renovated greenhouses and grow lettuces, courgettes and squashes that would raise the eyebrow of many an organic greengrocer.

They also happen to be on a site that sits directly in the path of where Heathrow Airport’s third runway was to be built – a location in many of their neighbours’ interests to protect.

But the squatters – who call themselves Grow Heathrow – face possible eviction as the owner of the land wants to remove them from the site.

Imran Malik solicitor’s Stephen Phillips said: “Mr Malik is the legal owner of the land and, as such, is entitled to possession of it.”

A hearing at Central London County Court begins on Monday.

It is expected to weigh up the human rights and hard work of those who have moved in against the simple fact the land is not theirs.

‘Scrapped cars’

Grow Heathrow claims the land had “previously been problematic for the local community and was often a site of anti-social behaviour before it was virtually abandoned”.

It says it cleared “30 tonnes of rubbish” when squatters moved onto the land.

Grow Heathrow, Photo by Jonathan Goldberg
Grow Heathrow says it cleared “30 tonnes of rubbish” when it moved onto the site

“There were needles, there was broken glass, there were scrapped cars, and we found a whole tank of diesel,” said Olive Morris from Grow Heathrow.

But the landowner’s solicitor responded: “Mr Malik was not himself responsible for the state of the site prior to its occupation by Grow Heathrow.”

“It was caused by a tenant of his.”

But even if the land has been tidied up, is this not a bit like getting into someone else’s house, redecorating it, and then saying because you have done that you are entitled to it?

“We were asked by the community residents to come here and to make it something they could be proud of,” responded Ms Morris.

Grow Heathrow also claims to share practical skills such as permaculture design, bicycle maintenance and wood and metal work with the community.

Joe Rake, also from Grow Heathrow, said: “We want to continue the work we do with schools, youth clubs and the residents’ association.”

A Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents’ Association (HASRA) spokesperson said: “Their tireless efforts and support have regenerated enthusiasm for community working that inspires the many people who visit.”

‘Attempted negotiation’

Meanwhile, local Labour MP John McDonnell said: “Grow Heathrow have taken a derelict site that has caused local residents numerous problems and transformed it into a beautiful area, serving the whole community.”

But Mr Malik’s solicitor responded: “Whilst no doubt Grow Heathrow have put in a lot of work in clearing up and improving the site, at the end of the day this gives them no legal right to continue trespassing on the land.

Grow Heathrow, Photo by Jonathan Goldberg
Grow Heathrow has occupied the land for more than two years

“As for the future, Mr Malik has his own plans to utilise the site in ways that he considers will be of benefit to the local community.”

The squatters said “during months of attempted negotiations” they have tried to purchase the land as part of a community land trust.

But Mr Phillips said: “Although there have been offers to buy the site from Mr Malik, they have been for sums that are too low to even consider.”

To remain on the land, the squatters have a tough battle on their hands, but if they win the case could set a precedent for land use elsewhere.

A previous court case for possession of the land at Uxbridge County Court in November 2011 was adjourned because the judge accepted some of the defendants’ arguments which were based upon Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to respect for private and family life – meaning a higher authority was needed to rule on the case.

Mr Phillips said: “As regards the Human Rights Act issues that have been raised in the defence, and that Article 8 applies to the claim, if the Court were to uphold this it would fundamentally transform the law on possession actions, even against private tenants.”

The coalition government has ruled out building a third runway at Heathrow. An aviation consultation will publish its findings this summer.

The hearing over Vineries Close is expected to last for two days.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18460865

 

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Earlier:

Transition Heathrow. We’re not going anywhere !

 

17.11.2011 (Transition Heathrow)Transition Heathrow’s “Grow Heathrow” project were due to be in court on 17th November, for a hearing about having them evicted from the site they are occupying at Sipson.  The judge took into account the human rights arguments and adjourned the case to the higher authority of Central London County Court where a two day hearing will take place in a few months time. The owner of the site wants the land back, though it had been neglected for years, and Grow Heathrow has turned it into a thriving community venture.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=5978 

 

 

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and

New video from Transition Heathrow to mark the group’s first birthday

 

 

 

Read more »

Peaceful protesters clash with police in Frankfurt at departure of pro-airport Mayor

There have been peaceful, but noisy, protests in the centre of Frankfurt, against the expansion of Frankfurt airport.  The protests happened in the city centre, outside St Paul’s Church were Chancellor Angela Merkel was attending the retirement ceremony for the Mayor, Petra Roth. Angela Merkel praised Petra Roth as being one of the most successful mayors in Germany. The Mayor has been in favour of expansion of Frankfurt airport and the new runway, which has been the cause of the new aircraft noise problem that so many Frankfurt citizens are suffering. This protest, by  perhaps 1,000 people, who threw foam balls, let off sparklers and banged drums, was in addition to the weekly protests against the noise that take place at the airport. There were some scuffles with the heavy police presence.

 


 

 [Apologies for the very, very bad translation below of these German articles – but it gives the gist of what is being said] 
12.6.2012

Protest at the departure of OB Petra Roth

 Inside, everything is festive, while outside the aircraft noise opponents loudly demonstrate but peaceful. The only stones that fly towards the police, are made of foam.

Before Paul’s Church in Frankfurt on Monday afternoon, according to show organizers of the 3000 people against aircraft noise, while adopted in St. Paul’s Church OB Petra Roth after 17 years in office.

 

 

image

Police say nearly 500 aircraft noise activists and about 70 autonomous.

Photo: AP

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Outside, in front of St. Paul’s Church, are still at the police cordons.

image

Members of the Black Bloc at the start of the demonstration in the Braubachstrasse throwing foam rubber balls

 

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Police push protesters at St. Paul’s Church behind a barrier.

http://www.fr-online.de/petra-roth-peter-feldmann,11317964,16350398.html

Scorn and ridicule rain on Monday afternoon, not only in the form of words for the police officers down. The 70 activists, the so-called black bloc throwing, laughing with black painted foam blocks around and to the officials who let this stoically endure. “Thank you again very much to the police for their successful blockade concept,” scoffs Antifa activist Leo Schneider in the direction of the uniform.

Three times as many civil servants are dressed in the black Braubachstrasse.Access to them is a 15 Paulsplatz clock nor denied. The tram lines 11 and 12 were diverted, blocked off the area around the spacious St. Paul’s Church. The Federal Criminal Police Office had passed because of the participation of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), and many bankers in the adoption of Petra Roth (CDU) to an increased safety concept.

Farewell ceremony for OB Petra Roth (CDU)

While the activists with children fireworks and sparklers “rampage”, drums and whistles, which are increasingly becoming the enemy aircraft noise arriving guests receive the commemorative event. Do not meet the very different parties. Torsten Welte of the Civil Air Transport Initiative Offenbach commented on the arrival of the guests of honor from the direction of Berlin street with the words: “This was to be expected, that do not arrive on this page. Merkel has “come he is the official adoption of Roth’s, so that” no interest in a dialogue with citizens’ initiatives. Does not have a brilliant finish. “

http://www.fr-online.de/petra-roth-peter-feldmann,11317964,16350398.html

Kudos to Roth

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and OB Petra Roth (CDU). Photo: AP

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) commends Petra Roth (CDU) at St Paul’s Church as one of the most successful mayors in Germany. Headwinds coming from outside. There demonstration aircraft noise activists.

http://www.fr-online.de/petra-roth-peter-feldmann/abschied-von-ob-petra-roth-zum-abschied-protest,11317964,16354410.html

There are some that these clouds parting. Mayor of Frankfurt Petra Roth goes after 40 years in local politics and 17 years at the helm of the city. The Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) party of their friend in St. Paul’s Church, “a heartfelt thank you,” says, take the 900 guests of honor with applause. Even Merkel’s judgment: “You can be proud of your performance as Mayor and President of the German Association of Cities look!”

But the protesters with whistles, drums and horns are people out there in front of St. Paul’s Church not think so. 450 airport expansion opponents and 70 left-wing activists is one of the police. Around 3000 there were according to the organizers.Aircraft noise opponents accuse Roth as autonomous, to have the end of their term of office once again restricted the freedom to demonstrate. The citizens’ groups against the new runway erstreiten only before the Administrative Court that they may enter the Paulsplatz at least marginally. This is an “absolute scandal,” says Michael Wilk of an alliance of citizens’ groups against airport expansion in Wiesbaden. “In the course of Blockupy demonstrations of what we saw that the issue is to allow democratic rights only when they are used in a non-disruptive way for the ruling politicians.” To the maximum sound decreed by the Court of 80 decibels at the rally holds None of the speakers. “This is a de facto ban on speaking the same, because we had so sound for only three to four meters,” says Wilk.

 


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