Activists Adopt-a-Resident in Sipson to beat the bulldozers

30.3.2009   (No Third Runway Action Group)
Photo  – Rick Pushinsky


While police worried about protests disrupting this week’s G20 summit, they totally
ignored a gathering of activists which could disrupt BAA plans for a third runway.

The headline makers from around Britain had come to Harmondsworth village to
launch a scheme to Adopt-a-Resident under threat from the proposed Heathrow expansion.

Should they be needed, activists have pledged to stand together with their adopted
residents and fight attempts to remove them from their homes.

Under colourful old-fashioned bunting in St Mary’s Church Hall, members of direct
action groups and residents got together over tea and delicious home-made cakes.

As the residents gathered in the packed hall, they were each given a raffle ticket
and waited expectantly to be matched with an activist, whose matching raffle ticket
would be drawn from a hat.

As John McDonnell MP began drawing the tickets he declared, “Everyone’s a winner!”
– and it really felt like it.

Residents and activists hugged enthusiastically as they were paired up and eagerly
swapped contact details for future get togethers.

After such a successful launch, it seems certain that many more people will want
to join this extraordinary alliance.


see also
HACAN press release
Activists pledge to help Heathrow residents defend their homes
Environmental activists from across the UK have "adopted" Heathrow residents
to support them in their fight against a third runway and prepare them to defend
their homes in the event of BAA being given permission to build the runway.   The
activists were brought together by Plane Stupid. Over tea and cakes in St Mary’s
Church Hall in Harmondsworth on Monday 30th March 40 residents were adopted (1).
Some of the country’s most experienced environmental activists will be involved
Local resident Lynne Davies said, " We are very excited about this scheme.   Many
local people are feeling very vulnerable with the threat of a third runway hanging
over them.   They will appreciate this support.   And it shows our determination
to stay put.   We don’t believe the new runway will ever be built but this link
up with the young activists sends a clear signal to the Government and BAA that
we are not alone."
Plane Stupid spokesperson Leo Murray said, "The campaign against a third runway
at Heathrow has become the front line in the fight against climate change in the
UK.   People with experience of Twyford Down and Newbury will be joining newer
activists to support the residents defend their homes and gardens."
He added, "The lessons of the anti-roads movement have been well and truly learnt.  
Preparations for resistance are starting much earlier than was the case at Twyford
Down or Newbury.   If plans for a third runway are not dropped, the Government
will face a campaign of organised resistance.
John Stewart, the Chair of HACAN, who was involved in the roads protests of the
1990s, said, "We expect that, if Labour loses the next General Election, expansion
plans will be dropped but if they are not I fully expect all sorts of unlikely
people to take direct action to stop a third runway ever being built."    
Notes for Editors      
(1). Photo above of residents with Plane Stupid activists.
(2).   Activists present included:
Leo Murray, who protested on the roof of the House of Commons with Plane Stupid
Lilly Kember, who took part in the occupation of Stansted runway
Paul Morozzo, who was involved in direct action at Twyford Down and the M11 Link
Leila Deen, who recently poured green custard over Peter Mandelson
Dan Glass, who last year superglued himself to the Prime Minister
Beth Stratford, who stopped the coal train on its way to Drax Power Station
Johnny Agnew, who recently took part in the occupation of the taxiway at Aberdeen
see also

Evening Standard   30.3.2009

Runway activists fight for ‘grannies’

by Aline Nassif

Campaigners against a third runway at Heathrow were today launching an “adopt-a-granny” scheme.

Hundreds of young activists from Plane Stupid will team up with mostly retired residents of villages that BAA wants to demolish.
The pairings were due to start at 3pm in Harmondsworth, with a view to “extending
the scheme” in the lead-up to the formal application for the runway. Scaffolding
and piles of tyres will be erected around houses.

Bradley Day, 22, said: “I’ll be camping on rooftops, on lawns, in trees if that
will stop BAA bulldozing homes.”     Lynne Davies, 60, who has lived in Sipson for
50 years, said: “I think this scheme is wonderful because it gives us hope.”