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.
Facing the impressive safe deployment deployed around the palace Jena, we chose a symbolic place: the Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars.
– 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.
– affixing stickers ACIPA all the tourist buses that stop in front of us …
Opponents of airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes settle the Champ-de-Mars in Paris.
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.
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.
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
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’ 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.
There are also video clips at:
17 June 2012 (BBC)
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.
“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.
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/ ]
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/
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
Court is all over. Judge taking some more time and will be waiting a week or 2 before sending written judgement.
By Andy Dangerfield Lettuces 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.
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.
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.
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.
Police say nearly 500 aircraft noise activists and about 70 autonomous.
Outside, in front of St. Paul’s Church, are still at the police cordons.
Members of the Black Bloc at the start of the demonstration in the Braubachstrasse throwing foam rubber balls
Police push protesters at St. Paul’s Church behind a barrier.
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.
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. “
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.
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.
There is more news and information (in English) about Frankfurt airport at Frankfurt Airport
Campaigners from Robin Wood, and Plane Stupid Germany have carried out a spectacular action in the centre of Munich, protested against the planned third runway at the airport. They fixed banners reading “Stop the third runway madness!” on the Victory Tower (Siegestor). They also had banners saying “No on 17.6. because they are asking the electorate to vote against the construction of the runway in Erdinger Moos in the referendum on 17th June. They are also demanding a statement from Mayor Christian UDE (SPD), on how he is able to justify supporting the expansion of the airport, as well as the Festival for the environment and sustainable mobility ,as patron of Streetlife.
8.6.2012 (de Bild)
Environmentalists have with a spectacular action on Friday in Munich protested against the planned third runway at the airport. They fixed banners reading “Stop the third runway madness!” on the Victory Tower. And “No on 17.6.». The organization Robin Wood appealed to the electorate, to vote against the construction of the runway in Erdinger Moos in the referendum on 17 June. The activists were supported by Germany Plane Stupid, a community of action against the airport expansion. Their common demand: Their common demand: A statement by Mayor Christian UDE (SPD), on how he is able to justify supporting the expansion of the airport, as well as the Festival for the environment and sustainable mobility ,as patron of Streetlife. Link to article
runway opponents climb on Munich’s Siegestor (Victory Tower)
Munich (DAPD-bay). A week before the referendum opponents of the third runway at Munich Airport have called for a vote against the expansion plans. On Friday, several activists climbed on the winning goal and had placards with slogans such as “Stop the 3rd runway madness” down, as the environmental organization Robin Wood announced.
With the action, the runway opponents mobilize over a million citizens eligible to vote, on 17 To vote in June against the controversial project.The event was supported by the network Plane Stupid Germany.
München (dapd-bay). Eine Woche vor dem Bürgerentscheid haben Gegner der dritten Startbahn am Münchner Flughafen zu einem Votum gegen die Ausbaupläne aufgerufen. Am Freitag kletterten mehrere Aktivisten auf das Siegestor und ließen Plakate mit Slogans wie “Stoppt den 3. Startbahnwahn” herunter, wie die Umweltorganisation Robin Wood mitteilte.
Mit der Aktion wollen die Startbahngegner die über eine Million wahlberechtigten Bürger mobilisieren, am 17. Juni gegen das umstrittene Projekt zu stimmen. Unterstützt wurde die Aktion von dem Netzwerk Plane Stupid Germany.
John Stewart, Chair of AirportWatch and of HACAN, was in Berlin on Sunday 3rd June. He was speaking at a rally of over 1,000 people who demonstrated outside the town hall in Central Berlin against the new Berlin Brandenberg near Berlin, which is due to open next year. The airport was due to open this year, but this has been delayed for many months, due to safety issues. This delay has given the protesters against the airport in Berlin time to mobilise and really oppose the opening of the airport. With active protest taking place in Frankfurt against the noise from the new runway, and active opposition in Munich against a proposed 3rd runway at the airport, it is likely that a German AirportWatch will be set up, bringing together all the campaigns, and making them all more forceful in their concerted action.
John Stewart, Chair of AirportWatch and of HACAN, was in Berlin on Sunday 3rd June. He was speaking at a rally of over 1,000 people who demonstrated outside the town hall in Central Berlin against the new airport in Berlin which is due to open next year. I
The photo is of John being introduced by Florian Sperk, who leads the Munich anti-third runway campaign, and who was also speaking at the rally.
It looks at if there are plans for a German AirportWatch to be set up bringing together all the campaigns.
Florian Sperk and John Stewart, in Berlin
Here’s the link to a short news report which gives a good flavour of the Berlin protest on Sunday, from the daily TV-news of RBB (Radio Berlin-Brandenburg):
“The (?) disaster costs us all the last shirt”
4.6.2012 (Berlin – Markische Allgemeine)
John Stewart is the man they are looking at in front of the Red Town Hall. He stands on a small stage, in the drizzle, on Sunday afternoon and speaks to at least a thousand people, aircraft noise opponents as he does.
John Stewart has achieved something that many in the region can only dream of. Through years of work and protest, he has defeated a seemingly invincible enemy, a powerful coalition of politics and economics: John Stewart is the man who has prevented the third runway of London’s Heathrow Airport.
If anyone in the local audience today wants to protest, they would be a few miles south, to demonstrate in Schönefeld (Dahme-Spreewald) against the opening of the new main airport there. But the launch of “Willy Brandt” airport is known to be delayed. [Delayed till March 2013, from June 2012. See below]. This was not caused by John Stewart or protests, but the mismanagement of the owners and builders, and the Supervisory Board.
Stewart’s message that he gives as an invited speaker at the civil society rally in Berlin-Brandenburg is: Now more than ever. “With each demonstration, it will become harder for the government,” he shouts into the thunderous applause.
The Demonstrators wave their banners, some examples of which say: “Wowi in the approach path” or “Platzeck on the departure route.”
On clotheslines worn shirts and blouses flutter. The demo is themed, “The BER disaster will cost us all our last shirt.”
The airport delay has given the residents a “summer of grace,” as some activists have expressed sarcastically. But that could now be the major upcoming project challenge of the protest movement. Because today in Brandenburg, the petition was started for a continuous ban on night flights 22pm to 6 am.
The combined aircraft noise that was supposed to have started yesterday (when the airport was meant to have opened) from the new airport is delayed, giving time to mobilise the people. Or, as fellow campaigner Christine Dorn puts. “The burden is still theoretical.” Christine Dorn of South East Alliance is aware of the changed circumstances of the petition, now the airport opening is delayed. She is optimistic that the necessary 80 000 voices will come together in Brandenburg. The noise gives opponents until the beginning of the year, with the chance to (?) reform national legislation (? translation).
So far, Brandenburg has not been a good place for direct democracy, and all eight referenda have failed. But the period is now extended from four to six months, and people can sign by mail. In addition, the municipalities have more opportunities to set up polling stations.
The airport delay in opening has also increased awareness of the impending threat of aircraft noise for Berlin, because there are more (?) night flights at Tegel airport (in Berlin) says Dorn. “Berlin and Brandenburg have not divided.” This is also the “message of hope” that John Stewart presented the Brandenburg and Berlin airport opponents. “Ten years ago, we were confronted with the plan of a third runway and today we have managed the impossible”
Cooperation is the order of the day, says the 62-year-old: “With every delay for the airport, the opponents have the chance to win, and the government loses. “(By Torsten Gellner)
From the origninal German
4.6.2012 Markische Allgemeine
So jemand kommt an beim hiesigen Protestpublikum, das heute eigentlich ein paar Kilometer südlich aufmarschieren wollte, um in Schönefeld (Dahme-Spreewald) gegen die Eröffnung des neuen Großflughafens zu demonstrieren. Aber der Start des „Willy Brandt“-Flughafens ist bekanntlich gestoppt. Kein John Stewart hat das bewirkt, sondern das Missmanagement der Bauherren und des Aufsichtsrats.
Stewarts Signal, das er als Gastredner auf der Kundgebung des Bürgervereins Brandenburg-Berlin gibt, lautet: Jetzt erst recht. „Mit jeder Demonstration wird es für die Regierung schwieriger zu gewinnen“, ruft er in den tosenden Applaus. Die
Demonstranten schwenken ihre Banner, auf denen Sätze stehen wie: „Wowi in die Einflugschneise“ oder „Platzeck auf die Abflugroute“. Auf Wäscheleinen
flattern abgetragene Hemden und Blusen. Die Demo steht unter dem Motto: „Das BER-Desaster kostet uns alle das letzte Hemd.“ Die Flughafenverspätung hat den Anwohnern einen „letzten Sommer der Gnade“ beschert, wie es manche Aktivisten sarkastisch formuliert haben. Doch das könnte dem nun anstehenden Großprojekt der Protestbewegung gefährlich werden. Denn ab heute startet in Brandenburg das Volksbegehren für ein durchgehendes Nachtflugverbot von 22 bis 6 Uhr. Der gebündelte Fluglärm, der eigentlich seit gestern vom neuen Standort in Schönefeld ausgehen und die Massen mobilisieren sollte, lässt auf sich warten. Oder wie es Mitstreiterin Christine Dorn ausdrückt: „Die Belastung ist theoretisch geworden.“ Christine Dorn vom Bündnis Südost weiß um die veränderten Vorzeichen, unter denen die Unterschriftensammlung nun steht. Sie ist dennoch optimistisch, dass die nötigen 80 000 Stimmen in Brandenburg zusammenkommen. Den Lärmgegnern verschafft die Anfang des Jahres reformierte Volksgesetzgebung Rückenwind. Bislang war Brandenburg kein gutes Pflaster für die direkte Demokratie; alle acht Volksbegehren sind gescheitert. Nun aber wurde die Sammlungsfrist von vier auf sechs Monate verlängert, Unterschriften können auch per Post geleistet werden. Außerdem haben die Kommunen mehr Möglichkeiten, Abstimmungslokale einzurichten.
Die Flughafenverspätung habe auch das Bewusstsein der Berliner für drohenden Fluglärm erhöht, etwa weil in Tegel jetzt nachts länger geflogen wird, sagt Dorn. „Berlin und Brandenburg lassen sich nicht auseinanderdividieren.“ Das ist auch die „Botschaft der Hoffnung“, die John Stewart den märkischen und Berliner Flughafengegnern präsentiert. „Vor zehn Jahren hat man uns mit dem Plan einer dritten Bahn konfrontiert und heute haben wir das Unmögliche geschafft.“ Zusammenarbeit sei das Gebot der Stunde, meint der 62-Jährige: „Mit jedem Mal, da sich der Flughafen verspätet, gewinnt ihr und die Regierung verliert.“ (Von Torsten Gellner)
The new Berlin Brandenburg (Willie Brandt) airport will not now open till March 2013. It had been due to open in June 2012, and was postponed recently until August 2012. The problem appears be the fire safety system. The airport can only commence operations with a fully automated fire safety and control system as originally planned, and the interim solution of a partly automated system will not be allowed. This will take until December 2012. In addition, the risk would be too high to move the airport in winter due to adverse weather leading to operational restrictions. The Managing Director Operations, responsible for the construction of the airport, will have to leave the company. Keeping open the two older Berlin airports that this one will replace will cost about €15 million a month. http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1920
May 9, 2012 The opening of Berlin’s new airport will be delayed by up to 3 months due to fire safety problems. This an embarrassing blow to the German capital’s flagship project less than a month before its planned launch, which had been due for 3rd June. Berlin-Brandenburg Airport, which will also be known as Willy Brandt Airport after West Germany’s Cold War chancellor, may now open in the 2nd half of August, after the school holidays in Berlin and Brandenburg. Flights were to have been transferred from Berlin’s Tegel airport, to the new one. The problem is that the fire safety installations – notably smoke extractors – were not ready, so a safe evacuation of passengers could not yet be acheived in the event of fire. The delay will cost the two existing airports, and some airlines, money. The opening of what will be Germany’s third largest airport after Frankfurt and Munich, has been postponed once already. Click here to view full story…
More news and information at Berlin Airports
Protesters from Plane Stupid Germany have performed a stunning protest against the proposed third runway at Munich airport. They displayed two large vertical banners beside the huge clock, just above the Munich Stadhaus world-famous Glockenspiel. One banner reads “KOA Dritte” – No Third Runway. The other reads “Weltstadt” with a heart, as Munich has as one of its slogans, World City With a Heart. The protest is about runway plans, without a democratic referendum, and that the airport has tried to influence the decision process by contributing about €1 million to the pro-runway campaign. The new runway would demolish a village, ruin the homes of many people and devastate a huge area. Plane Stupid also fear the contribution to climate change, as the airport is the largest CO2 emitter in Bavaria.
Plane Stupid Germany – press release
Two banners hanging off the marvellous Munich Town Hall (the world renowned Glockenspiel is just below, out of shot. The left banner says “Koa Dritte” which means “No third” in Bavarian, meaning “no third runway”. The banner on the right says “Weltstadt + Heart?” which refers to Munich’s slogan of being a “Weltstadt mit Herz” – World City with a heart. ?
On Wednesday the 30th May, the intergenerational activists from Plane Stupid
Germany droped banners from the town hall of Munich in an act of peaceful civil
After about 30 minutes the action was stopped. The police were cooperative
and did not escalate the action. Plane Stupid Germany appealed to the state capital, to
be courageous, to have consideration for all those who will be affected and future generations, to stop the third runway at Munich by holding a referendum.
The Munich airport is the biggest single thread to the climate in Bavaria.
“Out of deep concern of what we have built in our lives, and in deep concern of the world we
will leave to future generations, we have decided to follow the way of civil disobedience,” Plane Stupid Germany explained. They say: “It is not acceptable that the protection of
property, health and the climate protection written in the Bavarian constitution, are not valid in
Bavaria and it’s capital when it comes to a third runway.”
The people of Munich are currently enduring a tremendous ordeal, waiting for the Munich runway decision to be made – but without the right to vote on it, especially because so much is at stake and would be sacrificed without demand. Without properly consulting those affected.
But when it was leaked that the airport is influencing the referendum with a million euros, it
was clear that something had to happen. This led to the adaptation of the successful
methods of activists of planestupid.org.
“No one can demand of us that we keep quiet and accept this, when the decision on the airport expansion is being influenced by the airport paying a million euros. “Even at the referendum of the people the airport manages to marginalize the people,” Plane Stupid Germany declared, noting “Munich airport has crossed the Rubicon. This referendum is not a decision of citizens, but demands all virtues of citizenship. We will start resistance, for our home, for the village of Attaching (which would be demolished) and the home of all of us – the climate of the earth.”
The action was taken by about 15 activists. The intergenerational activists from Plane
Stupid Germany are united by the concern for our home, and the Earth’s climate.
There are many photos of the protest at http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4031336307329.2177562.1399274720&type=1
0176 830 79 549,
florian.sperk @ googlemail.com
The €1 million is for the campaign in favor of the 3rd runway in the referendum in Munich City.
Eine Million Euro gegen das Volk
MdL Mannfred Pointner (Freie Wähler) hat die bayerische Staatsregierung angefragt, welche Gesellschaften oder Organisationen, an denen auch der Freistaat Bayern beteiligt ist sich beim Bündnis “Pro 3. Startbahn” beteiligen und wie viel Geld sie dafür investieren. Das Staatsministerium der Finanzen erklärt, dass die Flughafen München GmbH bis zu 1 Million Euro in das Pro-Bündnis investieren wird.
Dazu erklären die SprecherIn des Bündnisses München gegen die 3. Startbahn Katharina Schulze, Christian Hierneis und Prof. Michael Piazolo:
“Es ist ein Skandal, dass die FMG keine Zinsen für Darlehen der Stadt und des Landes zahlt, aber sage und schreibe eine Million Euro für die Kampagne zum Bürgerentscheid ausgibt! Uns zeigt die horrende Summe außerdem, dass die FMG wenig Vertrauen in die eigenen Argumente hat. Auch viel Geld kann nicht darüber hinwegtäuschen, dass es keinen Bedarf für eine 3. Startbahn gibt. Die Rollenverteilung für die Mobilisierung zum Bürgerentscheid werden immer deutlicher: Auf der einen Seite die Argumente und das Engagement, auf der anderen Seite viel, viel Geld. Wir sind überzeugt, dass die Münchner Bevölkerung sich davon nicht blenden lässt und die richtige Entscheidung am 17.6. treffen wird.”
Translated (badly, by Google/ Yahoo) into English below:
One Million Euros against the people
On Saturday 24th, thousands across Germany – perphaps as many as 30,000 – took part in protests at airports, against airport expansion and aircraft noise. At Frankfurt airport there were around 10,000 people, wanting a night flight ban from 22:00 until 6:00 and a cap on the number of take-offs and landings each day. At Berlin there were about 10,000 protesters against the planned new Brandenburg airport. And at Munich airport, over 500 people had a picnic in the terminal, protesting against a planned 3rd runway, the decision on which is due in June. There were also protests at Halle, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Bonn and Cologne – as well as at Nantes.
25 Mar 2012
(The Local. Germany’s news in English)
Crowds of protesters gathered at Germany’s biggest airports on Saturday 24th March to stage mass demonstrations against air traffic noise. A combined 20,000 people took part in the protests in Berlin and Frankfurt alone.
With just months to go before the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport opens its doors in June, the demonstration against aviation noise in the German capital was the biggest of its kind so far.
Organisers said about 10,000 people attended the protest in Berlin, with roughly the same number gathering at Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s biggest hub.
Demonstrators staged smaller rallies in Munich, Halle, Düsseldorf and Cologne.
Citizen groups in Berlin have spent months contesting flight route plans at the future BBI airport. The initiatives have called for a strict ban on flights between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Protesters swarmed Terminal 1 in Frankfurt, calling for more extensive night flight regulations.
“We continue to call for a night flight ban from 22:00 until 6:00 and a cap on the number of take-offs and landings each day,” said Michael Wilk of the “Rhein-Main” citizen initiative coalition.
In Munich, the demonstration took aim at domestic air travel. “We cannot keep expanding air traffic inside Germany when we have such well-developed road and rail networks,” said Florian Sperk of the “Bund Naturschutz” group in Bavaria.
Part of the Munich airport protest
One of the many photos of the Munich airport terminal picnic
Up to perhaps 30,000 people took to the streets on Saturday to protest against airport growth in Germany.
10,000 in Frankfurt against the impact of the newly-opened 4th terminal. Video at http://www.fluegel.tv/beitrag/4041
Another 10,000 in Berlin against a new ‘out-of-town’ airport.
In Munich, where the protest is against a proposed 3rd runway, over 500 people had a picnic in the terminal. Great photos at http://www.jbn.de/wir-ueber-uns/bildergalerie/picknick-im-terminal-2-243/ Video from Munich, with a special message for campaigners in London: http://youtu.be/6B2juC4FhtY
There were also smaller protests in Cologne, Bonn and Leipzig, largely over the hated night flights.
And in France campaigners against the proposed new airport at Nantes occupied the centre of the city. Video of Nantes protest http://youtu.be/JYXtb6_giLM
John Stewart, who has just returned from a trip to Germany to visit many of the groups actively involved in campaigning against new runways, writes about his trip. He says protests are breaking out across Germany, following the large and energetic protests by thousands of articulate and law-abiding citizens that have been taking place each Monday evening at Frankfurt. There will be a national day of action on Saturday 24th March, with protests at Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Leipzig, Dusselforf and Cologne. The causes of the protests tend to differ from city to city but the scale and intensity of them has shocked the authorities. They are being widely covered in the German media. Residents around Frankfurt’s new runway are particularly angry at the way they believe they were misled about the new flight paths and the noise of the planes. The big concern at Cologne and Leipzig appears to be night flights. At Munich a new runway is planned, and there is impressively organised opposition.
by John Stewart, Chair of HACAN and of AirportWatch
Protests against airport expansion are breaking out all over Germany. On 24th March there will be a national day of action involving protests at Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Leipzig, Dusseldorf and Cologne. The causes of the protests tend to differ from city to city but the scale and intensity of them has shocked the authorities. They are being widely covered in the German media.
The most spectacular protest is happening in Frankfurt. Every Monday evening, since Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the fourth runway in October, up to 5,000 local residents occupy the terminal in protest against the impacts of the new runway. They are particularly angry at the way they believe they were misled about the new flight paths and the noise of the planes. There is also real concern that a promised night flight ban (between midnight and 5am) might now not be introduced on a permanent basis. I addressed the rally at the end of February. Rarely, in over thirty years of campaigning, have I experienced such raw emotion. At their special Saturday protests, they can get up to 20,000 people.
The airport and the regional government simply do not know what to do about the protests. It is their worst nightmare: thousands of law-abiding citizens descending upon the terminal at least once a week. The authorities have employed Marson-Bursteller, the PR firm who has worked for dictators across the world, to try to counter the impact the demonstrators are having. Marston-Bursteller have arranged for the fares of airport workers to be paid to attend rival demonstrations.
The big concern at Cologne and Leipzig appears to be night flights. In Berlin thousands of people have taken to the streets in protest the new flight paths which are being introduced to serve a new out-of-town airport which has been built to replace a city centre airport.
It is maybe at Munich, though, where the expansion of German airports could come to a shuddering halt. Munich could become the ‘German Heathrow’. There is a fighting chance that the protesters against the proposed third runway at Munich could match the success of the campaigners who successfully defeated plans for a third runway at Heathrow. If the Munich campaigners do triumph, it will reinforce the message sent out by the famous Heathrow victory that it has become increasingly difficult to build new runways or new airports anywhere in Europe.
At Munich the campaigners are putting together an impressive coalition involving climate activists, local residents, sympathetic politicians, environmental experts and academics. They are challenging the woefully weak economic case for a third runway. Also expect pro-active campaigning: flashmobs, non-violent direct action, church-based candle-light processions, demonstrations and climate camps.
Munich is also showing the way forward by bringing together climate change and noise campaigners which, until now, hasn’t happened in Germany in the way it has done in the UK.
I believe the Munich campaigners can win. But that will be some years off. In the shorter-term, it seems likely that the authorities will need to give something to the protesters complaining about the noise from the airports. If the campaigners can win significant victories, it will show once again just how powerful visible street protests can be.
March 2, 2012 John Stewart and some other campaigners recently visited Germany, to see the current protests against airport expansion there. John has written about their visit. He says campaigners are getting organised to oppose the planned building of a new 3rd runway at Munich. The case for a new runway there is weak because the existing runways are nowhere near capacity, most of the flights from Munich are domestic so could transfer to rail, and there is very low unemployment in the area. Visiting Frankfurt, they attended one of the regular Monday evening protests. The movement there driven by the concern about climate change, have brought together a first-rate coalition of environmental activists, local residents, sympathetic politicians and academic experts. They are a considerable force to be reckoned with. Click here to view full story…
February 4, 2012
There have been major protests at several German airports today, against aircraft noise, with whistles, drums and banners. There were about 20,000 protestors at Frankfurt protesting against noise from the new runway that opened in October. This was the largest protest at the airport since the opening . The police estimated the number of participants to 7,700, the organizers – a coalition of citizens’ groups against the airport expansion – spoke of 20,000 people. There were also demonstrations at Berlin, Leipzig, Munich and Dusseldorf. Click here to view full story…
February 1, 2012
Several articles from German news websites, badly translated in to English, but giving a feeling of what is happening in Germany, and how the protests against the unexpectedly bad noise produced by the new Frankfurt airport runway, opened in October, are having an impact politically. The Germans, in their thousands (and these are articulate and purposeful Germans protesting) are not going to put up with the new noise intrusion into their lives, and especially not at night, whatever Fraport (the airport) and Lufthansa say about the night flights being essential for business. The benefits are far less than the social harm the night flights are doing, and the ability to quietly enjoy their homes without a flight path overhead is not something that the residents near Frankfurt airport are prepared to lose. Click here to view full story…
and more about the Frankfurt protest at Frankfurt Airport