Stansted protest delays flights

8.12.2008   (BBC)


More photos below….

Flights at Stansted airport have been delayed after more than 50 protesters occupied
a secure area near the runway.

Climate action group Plane Stupid said it started the protest at 0315 GMT by
breaching security.

The runway was closed for about two hours as a precaution, but reopened at 0810
GMT. Passengers are being advised to contact their airlines.

Police said they had removed all the protesters, who were chained together, and
made 39 arrests.

A total of 21 flights are believed to have been cancelled.

Ch Supt Ian Gruneberg told BBC News the demonstrators were “committing a criminal
act” and would be dealt with by the courts

Airline Ryanair has said it will demand an investigation into how the break-in
at Stansted happened.

Bolt-cutters

The first flights were due to begin leaving at 0610 GMT. Those due to land were
diverted.

Nick Barton, BAA’s commercial director at Stansted, told BBC Radio 4 he hoped
the airport would be able to “recover quite well” from the impact of the protest,
but there would be knock-on delays.

The BBC’s Stephen Chittenden, at Stansted, said protesters had brought concrete
blocks and 6ft-high security fencing with them and erected a “stockade” about
50m (164 ft) from the runway. They then chained themselves to the fencing.

 

One of the activists taking part, Lily Kember, 21, said they had forced their way in using bolt-cutters while the runway was
closed for overnight maintenance work.

She said: “There’s 54 of us currently occupying a space on the taxi way about
50m from the runway.

“It’s a bit cold, but everyone is in good spirits.”

Ms Kember said she was “incredibly apologetic” that passengers had been affected,
but added: “The effects of climate change are going to be monumental.”

Plane Stupid said on its website that the action was intended to draw attention
to CO2 emissions from the aviation industry and the protesters intended to occupy
the area for as long as possible.

One protester, whose full name was not given, said: “We’re here because our parents’
generation has failed us and it’s now down to young people to stop climate change
by whatever peaceful means we have left.

“We’re afraid of what the police might do to us, we’re afraid of going to jail
but nothing scares us as much as the threat of runaway climate change.”


Stuart Meacock, from Peterborough, was due to fly out of Stansted for a trip
to celebrate his first wedding anniversary.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It’s disgusting. I mean, it’s not only breaking all
of the safety rules, but it’s disrupting everybody’s lives.

“I hope they throw the book at them.”

Another traveller Jorg Tittel told the BBC: “I am all for fighting for our environment,
but these kids have failed already. They are making thousands of travellers angry.”

‘Mass movement’

In October controversial plans for an expansion of Stansted Airport were given
the go-ahead by the government.

Airport owner BAA wants to increase passenger numbers from 25 million to 35 million
a year and flights leaving the airport from 241,000 to 264,000 a year.

Objectors say an expansion would damage the environment, but some unions said
the proposal could bring new jobs.



It is time these ill-informed protests stopped


Matthew Knowles

Society of British Aerospace Companies

Matthew Knowles, from the Society of British Aerospace Companies, said the protesters were “ignoring
the reality around aviation and climate change”.

“Flight numbers have increased at Stansted, but noise nuisance around the airport
has actually decreased and aircraft are 70% more fuel efficient than they were
50 years ago,” he said.

“The industry has also set itself targets for a further 50% cut in noise and
CO2 emissions from 2000 levels in new aircraft by 2050.

“It is time these ill-informed protests stopped.”

Mr Barton said BAA did not aim to “run an airport as a fortress”, but would not
tolerate “unlawful protests”.

In Monday’s Guardian, Energy Secretary Ed Miliband called for “popular mobilisation” to support politicians trying to pressure
world leaders into a deal on climate change amid fears of economic repercussions.

He said there needed to be “a mass movement” along the lines of Make Poverty
History.

“There will be some people saying ‘We can’t go ahead with an agreement on climate
change, it’s not the biggest priority’.

“Therefore you need countervailing forces. Some of those countervailing forces
come from popular mobilisation,” he told the newspaper.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/essex/7770513.stm

 
see also
 
Video clip by Plane Stupid, as they broke in,   in the Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2008/dec/08/climate-change-activists
 
 
see also

Stop Stansted Expansion comment on the action:

PRESS RELEASE

ISSUED BY STOP STANSTED EXPANSION Monday 8 December
 

 

COMMENT ON STANSTED RUNWAY CLOSURE

 

The closure of Stansted Airport this morning by climate action group Plane Stupid has highlighted significant
concerns that the Government is failing to fulfil its commitment to deliver meaningful
action on climate change by supporting the expansion of Stansted and other airports
across the UK
.

Over 50 protesters from Plane Stupid camped out on the runway and surrounded
themselves with fortified security fencing, preventing flights to and from the
airport during the early part of the morning.

Responding to news of the action Carol Barbone, Campaign Director of Stop Stansted
Expansion, said:   "No-one can condemn this action without also condemning the
recklessness of the Government’s policy on airport expansion and the major contribution
which the resulting emissions would make to global warming.   BAA’s full frontal
attack on the community with its plans to make Stansted bigger than Heathrow today,
with a seven square kilometre landgrab for a second runway destroying historic
homes and villages, must also be condemned."

She continued:   "Our own campaign has always been waged strictly within the law
and we are pledged to continue to use all legal means to overturn the Stansted
expansion plans.   Nevertheless, today’s action by Plane Stupid must be seen in
context against the backdrop of a continuous assault of the local community by
BAA and by a Government that claims to want to tackle climate change but seems
determined to allow expansion of the airport."

ENDS

FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENT  

 

see also

Plane Stupid’s press release:

Plane Stupid shuts Stansted Airport

8.12.2008

Over fifty young protesters from the climate action group Plane Stupid have this
morning shut down Stansted Airport by camping on the runway and surrounding themselves
with fortified security fencing.

The peaceful protest began at 3.15am this morning (Monday) whilst the runway
was temporarily closed for maintenance work. Plane Stupid aims to prevent the
scheduled reopening of the runway at 5am. The group intends to maintain its blockade
for as long as possible, preventing the release of thousands of tonnes of greenhouse
gas emissions into the atmosphere.

6:00am update: BAA have confirmed that the first flights out of the airport have
been delayed. The average flight out of Stansted has a climate impact equivalent
to 41.58 tonnes of CO2.

8:10am update: At least 39 people have been arrested and the runway re-opened.
BAA are claiming that 21 flights have been cancelled. Every minute the airport
emits around 4 tonnes of CO2.

One young woman, Lily, aged 21 said:

“We’re here because our parents’ generation has failed us and its now down to
young people to stop climate change by whatever peaceful means we have left. We’re
afraid of what the police might do to us, we’re afraid of going to jail but nothing
scares us as much as the threat of runaway climate change. We’ve thought through
the consequences of what we’re doing here but we’re determined to stop as many
tonnes of CO2 as we can.”

The young campaigners have raised a banner reading ‘CLIMATE EMERGENCY’. Wearing
high visibility vests which have the message “Please DO something” printed on
them, they chose this day for the peaceful trespass as they knew the runway was
closed for maintenance works and no flights were due to take off or land for two
hours after they arrived.

Tilly, 21, said:

“We all grew up listening to Blair and Brown talking about the urgent need to
slash emissions, but nothing ever happened. Even now politicians from our parents’
generation are in Poland holding talks about talks, but still nobody’s actually
doing anything. The scientists tell us we’ve got about seven years to make emissions
peak then drop, and if we fail it will be the people on this runway, and our children,
who’ll live with the consequences. That’s why I’m doing this.”

The campaigners chose to close Stansted after the government approved the expansion
of capacity at the airport by ten million passengers a year. Aviation is Britain’s
fastest growing source of emissions, already amounting to at least 13% of our
country’s climate impact. With plans for new runways across the UK, including
at Heathrow and Stansted, experts from the Tyndall Centre for climate research
say Labour’s aviation policy alone will scupper any chance the UK has of hitting
its climate targets.

Daniel, 24, said:

“We fully appreciate the scale of what we’ve done here today and we know many
people will struggle to understand why we’ve done it, but the Arctic ice cap is
disappearing, the seas are rising and our last chance to save our future is vanishing.
With people taking more flights in Britain than anywhere else on earth, we have
a unique responsibility to tackle emissions from flying.”

http://www.planestupid.com/?q=content/plane-stupid-shuts-stansted-airport
 
Plane Stupid’s photos:
 
There are links on the BBC website to a number of video clips:
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/essex/7770513.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7770921.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7770711.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7669801.stm

Read more »

Fancy dress Heathrow protestors demand “Why don’t you listen, Gordon?”

29.11.2008    


Around 100 protesters opposing the expansion of Heathrow Airport dressed up as
the prime minister and joined a rally in Lampton Park in west London, at 11am
today.
 

Campaigners wearing Gordon Brown masks and big ears joined other protesters concerned
about the expansion proposals.

Any expansion would include a new runway, allowing the total number of flights
to increase from 480,000 at present to 605,000 by 2020.

The colourful stunt brought together members of local and national campaign groups,
including councillors.   Geraldine Nicholson, chairman of the No Third Runway Action
Group, said:   "We are fighting for the very survival of our communities that a
third runway would destroy.   But we   are joining people from all over London to
call Gordon Brown to drop all the plans for expansion at Heathrow. No to a third
runway. No to mixed-mode."

Ministers are expected to make a decision on Heathrow in weeks.

Rally organiser John Stewart from the campaign group HACAN said:

“All the Gordon Browns in the world – and there were a lot of them at this protest
– won’t convince anybody that expansion is needed.    

 

“It’s bad for the environment and most people don’t buy his line that it’s needed
for the health of the economy.”
 
The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats oppose the idea of a new runway, as do
environmental groups, while some backbench Labour MPs are calling for a rethink.

Richmond councillors also took part in the protest – as well as one earlier in
the day in Richmond.     “We are totally opposed to any form of expansion at Heathrow,”
said Richmond council leader Serge Lourie.   “The airport has reached maximum capacity.”

MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, Susan Kramer also attended the protests,
and addressed the rally.     She emphasised that if  the government decision is for
either a  new runway, or the end of   runway  alternation, the fight will go on and
intensify.   Also that the 2M group of local authorities opposing Heathrow expansion now consists of 21 local authorities
in London, representing 4 million (it used to be 2 million when the group initially
formed) and it will go to the courts to legally challenge a decision to allow
either ending of runway alternation or a 3rd runway.   Part of the reason for the
legal challenge would be  the wholly inadequate and undemocratic nature of the
Heathrow consultation.  

Another campaigner added     "A plane overhead every 90 seconds throughout the
day is just unimaginable. The destruction of a living community to build a third
runway is brutal."

Groups opposing expansion think it will be detrimental to the health of people
living under the flight path and it will destroy hundreds of homes which will
be bulldozed to make way for the runway.

Heathrow’s owner BAA said that if a third runway was approved, then it would
an accept an independent body with the power to limit flights for environmental
reasons
.
see also

Protest was a ‘last chance’ for PM to say no to Heathrow

1st December 2008

By Manisha Mistry, Hillingdon Times
 

THE Prime Minister was given a “last chance" this weekend to say no to a third
runway at Heathrow Aiport.

John Stewart, chairman of pressure group HACAN joined in the demonstration which
took place in Hounslow on Saturday, November 29.

An army of around 100 people wearing Gordon Brown masks and ears gathered at
Lampton Park in Lampton Road.

Mr Stewart, said: "The message of the masks was to Gordon Brown that we simply
want the Prime Minister to say no to Heathrow expansion when he makes his decision
in a couple of weeks time.

"This is the last chance for Gordon Brown to say no to a third runway because
this was the last demonstration that will take place before the government decision."

He added: "It was fun and I think people came away feeling like they had enjoyed
themselves.

"But it was light hearted with a serious message attached to it."

In the next couple of weeks, a decision will be made as to whether a third runway
will be given the green-light by Labour or whether he will take the decision to
reject the plans.

Mr Stewart added: "I need to be realistic all the time. I think Gordon brown
is keen to give the go-ahead to the expansion.

"But it will not be the end of the road. The Conservatives have said they will
scrap all plans to expand Heathrow Airport and I don’t think Labour will not get
all the details in place and approved by the next election in 2010.

"If a third runway is approved it will be a temporary set back and we will continue
the fight."

link to article

Read more »

Plane Stupid’s Commons Five get minimal fine for Heathrow protest

13.11.2008   (HACAN press release)

“Not even a slap on the wrist: more like a tap on the little finger"

 


The five activists from the climate change campaign group Plane Stupid who went
on to the roof to protest against the alleged collusion between BAA and the Department
for Transport in drawing up plans to expand Heathrow were just given a minimal
fine by the judge at Westminster Magistrates Court today.   He fined four of the
defendants £365 each.   The fifth defendant, Tamsin Omond, was fined £150.   The
maximum fine could have been £5,000 and six months in jail.   They had been charged
with trespass under anti-terror legislation.

John Stewart, the Chair of the anti-Heathrow campaign group, HACAN, said, "This
is hugely embarrassing for a Government already reeling from a rebellion by its
own backbenchers over Heathrow.   This was not even a slap on the wrist: more like
a tap on the little finger."

The Plane Stupid 5 had argued in court that they had gone onto the roof to highlight
the alleged collusion between the Department for Transport and BAA in drawing
up plans to expand Heathrow.   The judge and the prosecution accepted that was
their motive.

The judge had before him statements from a number of expert witnesses: Norman
Baker MP, John McDonnell MP, John Stewart of HACAN (recently voted UK’s no.1 green
campaigner by the Independent), Pete Lockley, a policy analyst at WWF and Dr Kevin
Anderson, a climate scientist at the world renowned Tyndall Centre.

The Government is expected to make an announcement about Heathrow expansion next
month.

   

Notes for Editors:


1)       The protestors on trial were Olivia Chessell, 20, Leo Murray, 32, Graham
Thompson, 34, Alexander George, 28, and Tamsin Omond, 23.

 

For more information:

John Stewart                               0207 737 6641; 07957385650

Leo Murray                                       07847 204 469

Graham Thompson         07828 632 136



press@planestupid.com

www.planestupid.com
   
see also
   

 

Fines for Plane Stupid protestors



News image

Five climate change protestors have been found guilty of trespassing on parliament.

Leo Murray, Alexander Richard George, Graham Thompson, Tamsin Omond and Olivia
Chessell were found guilty after a trial at City of Westminster magistrates court.

Omand, 23, of Belsize Square, was given a conditional discharge for 12 months
and fined £150.

Murray, 32, of Westcroft Square; George, 28, of Ridgeway, Wimbledon; Thompson,
35, of Northfield Rd; and Chessell, 20, of Emmanuel Rd, Cambridge, were fined
£150 each and ordered to pay £200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Westminster magistrates’ court were told how the members of campaign group Plane
Stupid unveiled banners on the roof of parliament to protest against the proposed
Heathrow expansion after getting past security in February.

The prosecution alleged the group may have had help during their protest. All
five were seen on CCTV cameras but were searched by security who failed to find
the banners reading “BAA HQ” and “No Third Runway”.

Inspector Timothy Barfoot, who was on duty at the time, said that one of the
protestors contacted him after reaching the roof claiming they were from Plane
Stupid and that “everyone on the roof had been trained in non-violent protests”.

He added that a decision was taken not to forcibly remove the group until they
were closer to the edge of the building.

View London   13.11.2008

http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/news/fines-for-plane-stupid-protestors-18875562.html

   
See also
Plane Stupid campaigners guilty of trespass
http://thirdsector.co.uk/news/Article/862268/Plane-Stupid-campaigners-guilty-trespass/
(Third Sector)   14.11.2008
   
and
   
Plane Stupid members guilty after anti-expansion protest
   
http://www.hillingdontimes.co.uk/news/localnews/3846157.Activists_found_guilty_of_trespass/
(Hillingdon Times)   14.11.2008
   
and
   
Plane Stupid Protestors found guilty, judge gives a token gesture sentence 
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/11/412855.html
(Indy Media)  
   
See Leo Murray’s account of the proceedings;
24.11.2008   on Index on Censorship.
http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2008/11/24/plane-stupid-parliamentarylobby

Read more »

Scottish airport expansion campaigners take to the streets on opening day of new Glasgow £32 million “skyhub”

29.10.2008   (AirportWatch Scotland press release)
 

Residents living under flight paths join forces with climate action group, AirportWatch
and Plane Stupid Scotland to take part in street carnival as BAA open ʽSkyhubʼ
an extension of Glasgow Airport

At lunchtime today, at of the opening of the biggest development at Glasgow airport
since 1994, residents from the surrounding communities set off ʽclimate alarmsʼ
attached to helium balloons in the streets of Paisley.   Ten residents paraded
through the streets, stopping off at the Town Hall Renfrewshire House, and several
travel agents, dressed as airport runway workers with three foot helium balloons
stating ʽclimate alarmʼ and ʽGive BAA an ASBOʼ.   A large banner was unfurled in
the streets stating ʽItʼs time to blow the whistle on airport expansionʼ.

The action comes just weeks before the Scottish Parliament is set to debate ‘National
Planning Framework 2’ (NPF2) (1) which proposes the most radical overhaul over
the Scottish Planning System in 60 years.   It could accelerate plans to expand
both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.   The Skyhub forms part of those expansion
plans (2).

The action follows closely on last week’s protest outside the official residence
of Scotlandʼs First Minister Alex Salmond when campaigners played aircraft noise
through his door in the early hours of the morning.

The actions are part of a growing campaign against airport expansion in Scotland
which brings together local residents, environmental campaigners and direct action
activists.

Jimmy Kerr, 33, a community activist from Paisley said: “We are all taking these
steps to state loud and clear to BAA, who are pushing for expansion at BAA Glasgow
and Edinburgh under the National Planning Framework (NPF2), that they cannot any
longer ignore any of the effects of airport expansion:   more noise levels, more
air pollution, more climate change emissions.   The action stands as a sign that
the resistance to their expansion plans is growing.”

Kerr added, “Activists do not believe that the Scottish Government’s plans for
sustainable economy and a strong Climate Change Bill are compatible with expanding
airports. Aviation is the fastest growing cause of climate change.”

Eddie Gray, Community Councillor from Clydebank said:   ʽWe stand strongly together
with the residents in Paisley.   Concerned residents went to Glasgow airport this
morning and were refused the right to peaceful protest.   BAA Glasgow simply refuses
to listen and we have tried everything.   All we get from the airport is disruption
24 hours a day and propaganda dropped through our door telling blatant lies about
their ʽneighbourlyʼ behaviour.   We refuse to be undermined anymoreʼ.

Katrina Doyle from Johnstone said: ʽThe planes are continuously going past my
street. Itʼs terrible, the sounds are getting worse and sometimes I feel like
they are landing on my house.ʼ

Further actions are expected.   Today’s direct action is the second to arise from
the ‘Plane Speaking’ tour of communities, where residents joined Plane Stupid
to plan their response to airport expansion plans and sign an ‘airports action
pledge’. (3)

Plane Stupid Scotland is publishing a full dossier of evidence against BAA highlighting
anti-social behaviour, including films, photographs and actions at
www.planestupid.com.

ENDS


Notes to editors:

(1) The proposed NPF2will undergo sixty days scrutiny in Scottish parliament
in autumn 2008.   Plane Speaking and Plane Stupid Scotland opposes airport expansion
and wants to ensure that the voices of communities directly affected under the
Scottish Government’s ‘National Planning Framework’ are given due weight.

(2)   http://www.airport-technology.com/projects/skyhub/

(3) The Communities Pledge states ‘We are actively involved in calling on the
Government to look again at the plans to expand Scotlandʼs airports.   Instead
we call on them to produce a coherent national transport plan which is equitable
and sustainable.’


For more information/interviews:


Eddie Gray 07900550521

Jimmy Kerr 07587546377

www.airportwatch.org.uk/scotland  
see also

Glasgow – Airport protest fails after tip off

5.11.2008   (Clydebank Post)

By Colin Hutton

A GROUP of maverick aircraft noise campaigners were ordered to leave Glasgow
Airport because of a potential "threat" to passengers last week.

The 10 activists — including one Clydebank man — made what was meant to be a
surprise trip to the airport on Wednesday afternoon.

The plan was to demonstrate as the first phase of the airport’s £31m Skyhub extension
was being opened.

But after an apparent tip off, the activists — armed with placards and balloons
and dressed in bright orange boilers suits — were met by waiting police.

The protest was intended to highlight the "misery" that increased airport traffic
will undoubtedly bring to residents in Whitecrook and Linnvale and beyond, as
well as the impact on the environment.

It was the first attempt to step up the campaign in the area after Clydebank
residents joined forces with seasoned airport protesters from England.

A well-placed source told the Post: "The group were asked to leave because it
was considered that their demonstration with helium balloons could cause a major
threat to the airport and cause disruption.

"The police already knew about the demonstration because a concerned member of
the public had contacted them to say that she had overheard a group on the train
talking about what they could do to cause as much disruption as possible at the
airport."

Clydebank East community councillor Eddie Gray, from Whitecrook, was with members
of AirportWatch and Plane Stupid Scotland at the airport.

He told the Post: "Concerned residents went to Glasgow airport on Wednesday and
were refused the right to peaceful protest.

"Unfortunately, the protest went a little wrong though and we were asked to leave."

A spokeswoman for Glasgow Airport said: "We are happy to facilitate peaceful
demonstrations on the airport as long as we are contacted about them in advance
and they do not cause or attempt to cause any disruption to our passengers safety
or our operation."

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde police said: "On Wednesday officers identified
a group that were standing in front of the terminal.

"The officers went over to check it out and with the bylaws for the airport which
are in place their details were taken and they were advised that they would not
be allowed to demonstrate."

http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/articles/1/30312

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more »

Scotland – airport expansion activists target Scottish First Minister

16.10.2008     (Plane Stupid Scotland)

–   4am wake up for Alex Salmond on SNP conference day

–   Residents living under flight paths join forces with climate action group,
Plane Stupid Scotland, to adopt radical tactics


At 4am this morning, residents from Clydebank, Paisley, Kirkliston and Cramond
peacefully setup a stereo and blasted aeroplane noise through the entrance of
the First Minister’s private residence in Edinburgh.

The action stands as a protest ‘dawn chorus’ to highlight the experience of living
life in the shadow of a growing airport.   Ironically, the stereo caused 110 decibels
of noise – the equivalent of a jumbo jet taking off.

For half an hour about ten residents surrounded the building dressed in bright
pyjamas, night caps, clutching teddybears, and wearing ear defenders to demonstrate
the dangerous levels of noise pollution endured by their families and communities.

Their placards stated ‘Its time to wake up to the impacts of aviation’ and ‘have
a taste of your own medicine’.

The residents took these extraordinary steps to state loud and clear to the First
Minister, who holds ultimate say over the fate of the expansion plans, that he
cannot ignore any of the effects of airport expansion. These impacts include dangerous
noise levels, rising air pollution, climate change and increasing economic uncertainty
during the current ‘credit crunch’.

Jimmy Kerr, 33, a community worker from Paisley said:

‘For us it is a continuous descent into depression. Most mornings I am woken
at 4am by the first flights. A sense of frustration with the anti-democratic so-called
consultation process has galvanised me into taking action.’

Anne, 29, a teacher from Kirkliston said:

‘We have taken our issue to the top to say that we cannot remain passive on airport
expansion plans anymore.  For years we have had to endure environmental injustices
perpetrated by the government and BAA and today we are taking a stand.’

Today’s action marks the first in a new phase of direct action against airport
expansion in Scotland. Today’s direct action is the first to arise from the ‘Plane
Speaking’ tour of communities, where residents joined Plane Stupid to plan their
response to airport expansion plans and sign an ‘airports action pledge’. (1)

Activists do not believe that the Scottish Government’s plans for sustainable
economy and a strong Climate Change Bill are compatible with expanding airports.
Aviation is the fastest growing cause of climate change and excessive noise and
local pollution means that communities around Glasgow and Edinburgh airports are
calling for BAA to be slapped with an Anti Social Behavior Order. (ASBO)

The World Health Organisation has expressed concern about the impact of aviation
on human health.

Long term (5-30 years) exposure to air traffic noise levels averaging 65 to 75
decibels increases blood pressure and the risk of hypertension. Sleep disturbance
leads to fatigue, hypertension, greater risk of heart and respiratory problems,
poor concentration in work and school, increased risk of accidents, depression,
anxiety and higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse.

Today’s action is particularly appropriate as Scotland’s planning system is undergoing
its most extreme overhaul in 60 years and both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports
are due for expansion directed through the ‘National Planning Framework 2’ (NPF2)
(2).

Plane Stupid Scotland are publishing a full dossier of evidence against BAA highlighting
anti-social behavior, including films, photographs and actions at
www.planestupid.com.

For more information / interviews:

Jimmy Kerr 07900550521

Notes to editor

(1) The Communities Pledge states ‘We are actively involved in calling on the
Government to look again at the plans to expand Scotland’s airports.’   Instead
we call on them to produce a coherent national transport plan which is equitable
and sustainable.

(2) The proposed NPF2will undergo sixty days scrutiny in Scottish parliament
in autumn 2008. Plane Speaking and Plane Stupid Scotland opposes airport expansion
and wants to ensure that the voices of communities directly affected under the
Scottish Government’s ‘National Planning Framework’ are given due weight.

 

http://www.planestupid.com  

Read more »

Parliament climate change protesters threaten further disruption

14.10.2008   (Telegraph)

includes video clip       – link to article and photo

Climate change protesters who stormed the Houses of Parliament have threatened
further demonstrations unless the Government adopts more eco-friendly policies.

By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent

Six people were arrested after an attempt to recreate the suffragettes’ “rush”
on parliament 100 years ago, during an otherwise peaceful protest in Westminster.

Rosie Boycott, the writer and broadcaster who spoke at the protest, said that
the campaigners were “determined, organised and mobilised”, and ready for further
action.

A new coalition of groups known as the Climate Suffragettes, which includes stalwarts
of middle England the Women’s Institute as well as more extreme environmental
movements Climate Rush and Plane Stupid, are calling for reform of environment
policy, a halt to building more coal fired power stations and an end to airport
expansion.

Wearing Edwardian clothes and handing out cake, the protest started peacefully
in Parliament Square with speeches from each group,

However arrests were made when individuals attempted to recreate the “rush” on
Parliament and get through police lines at St Stephen’s Entrance. It is understood
one person was taken to hospital with an injured foot.

One 23-year-old woman was arrested for a breach of court bail conditions and
five others for incidents relating to breach of the peace. Climate Rush said the
23-year-old is Tamsin Omond, who was seen being led away in handcuffs. The grand-daughter
of a baronet is awaiting trial for climbing onto the roof of the Houses of Commons
last February in protest against the third runway at Heathrow. She and four others
who became known as the “Commons Five” were kept in custody for 12 hours before
being released on bail to await their trial on 11 November, at which they could
receive a maximum penalty of 51 weeks’ custody and a £5,000 fine.

Part of Miss Osmond’s bail conditions were to stay away from the Houses of Parliament
and she could now be held on remand. [She was not – See           ‘Green suffragette’ is freed despite breach of bail conditions   – Indy     15.10.2008   ].

The Cambridge graduate, who earlier in the day sat her final exam for an MA with
the Open University on Ecology and Social Justice and has considered training
to become a priest, is now likely to become a figurehead for the environmental
movement.

Speaking before the protest, she said: “I think this is the defining issue for
our generation. We all need to be taking every action we can to stop climate change
at the moment. The government targets are inadequate and the likelihood of achieving
them is poor. It is up to us and our generation to take the action we need.”

Joy Greasley, vice chairwoman of the Women’s Institute, said it was not just
“eco-warriors” concerned about climate change. She said WI members were glad to
be protesting alongside groups like Climate Rush, who take part in illegal actions,
in the name of climate change.

She said: “We believe women can make a difference by acting collectively and
taking the common sense approach.”

Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, said it was a time for action not
words.

“We are here to do everything we can within the law and possibly without the
law to peacefully prevent our descent into climate chaos,” she said.

Mrs Boycott said: “The threat facing us today is even more serious than the issue
that brought our predecessors here. In a hundred years from now the world as we
know it won’t he here unless we take action. Like the suffragettes (without whom
we would not be here), we are determined, organised and mobilised.”

Abour 60,000 people gathered to call for the suffragettes rush in 1908. During
the protest 37 people were arrested and 10 people taken to hospital. One woman
managed to get onto the floor of the House of Commons whole a debate was in progress.

link to article

Photos:
 
There are lots of pictures on Amelia’s blog at:
 
There are  some great photos on the SSE website at:     http://www.stopstanstedexpansion.com/photos_climate_rush_2008.html
 
Also on Andrew Aitchison’s website

 

The New Suffrajets                                  (photo by SSE)

 

see also   SSE press release at:

http://www.stopstanstedexpansion.com/press341.html

 

see also

Climate Rush: Parliament hit by green protest

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=2248

13.10.2008   (BBC)         See link for BBC video clip.

Police  were forced to close the main public entrance to Parliament after environmental
protesters attempted to force their way in.

Up to 600 demonstrators, including those against the expansion of Stansted and
Heathrow airports, took part.

Officers made six arrests and have shut the St Stephen’s Gate entrance.

Organised by the Climate Rush group, the aim was to emulate the attempt by the
Suffragette movement to storm Parliament 100 years ago.

At about 1830 BST, demonstrators marched to Parliament where they were stopped
by police at the St Stephen’s entrance.


 

Police said none of the environmental demonstrators had managed to breach security.

Inspector Tim Barfoot, who was on the scene, said: “The situation is being dealt
with.

“We are concerned to ensure the effective running of Parliament.”

Five people have been arrested for breach of the peace and a 23-year-old woman
has been held for breach of bail, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

Doors at the main St Stephen’s Gate entrance were closed and secured with two
large metal bars. Protesters striking the doors were clearly audible from the
inside.

About 400 demonstrators from a number of organisations had gathered during the
afternoon for a protest and rally.

‘Peaceful protest’

One protester, Rosie Haworth-Booth, 62, from Wandsworth, south-west London, said:
“It’s a pity we couldn’t get into Parliament. I was near the front and got a bit
afraid. I’m too old for this.

“The government is prepared to give £50bn to help the banks and more people will
be affected by this issue.”

Carole Barbone, of Stop Stansted Expansion, said: “I can understand the police
might have felt there was a risk due to the numbers of people involved but there
was no intention from anyone involved to cause any damage or harm to people or
property.

“We simply wanted to exercise our legal right to make our representations to
Parliament.”

The government gave the go-ahead to Stansted’s expansion this month and a decision
on Heathrow is due this year.

 

 “We simply wanted to exercise our legal right to make our representations to Parliament
Protester Carole Barbone
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7668288.stm
 
 
 
More photos:



 

 

 

Read more »

Uproar as Newham Council gives go-ahead to City Airport Expansion

9.10.2008   (Fight the Flights,   and HACAN)

Approval given despite admission from the airport that its noise figures are
inaccurate
 

There was uproar in Newham Town Hall last night as the Council gave the go-ahead
for a 50% increase in flights at City Airport despite the admission by the airport
that all the noise measurements it has taken since 2000 are unlikely to be accurate.  
Airport representatives told the Council’s Planning Committee that, because of
technical difficulties, they had not been able to take accurate noise measurements
for the last eight years.

Objectors to the expansion, which included representatives from Friends of the
Earth, Greenpeace, Plane Stupid, the Camp for Climate Change, the Heathrow campaign
group HACAN as well as the local campaign Fight the Flights, will be consulting
with their lawyers today.

Veteran campaigner John Stewart, who chairs HACAN, said, "In all my 25 years
of campaigning I have never seen such a pitiful performance by councillors.   Most
of them didn’t seem to have a clue about the issues.   They were clearly not up
to deciding a planning application of this importance.   It was inept.   It is no
wonder that people got so angry and frustrated."

When the Planning Committee voted by 5 to 1 in favour of the application, pandemonium
broke out in the hall.

ENDS

For further information:

John Stewart on           0207 737 6641 or 07957385650

Annie Griffin,     Fight the Flights           07899896042

 

Press Release dated 9/10/08
 
 
see also
 
 

Green light for City airport flights 50% expansion

9.10.2008   (Financial Times)

By Kevin Done, Aerospace Correspondent

London City airport won planning permission on Wednesday night to increase the
number of take-offs and landings by around 50%.

The airport, which chiefly serves the financial services industry in the City
of London and Canary Wharf business districts, has grown rapidly in recent years
with passenger volumes rising by more than 20% a year in both 2006 and 2007.  
It was already bumping up against its existing limit of 80,000 movements a year,
but on Wednesday night the local planning authority, the London Borough of Newham,
approved a 50 per cent increase to 120,000 movements annually.

Growth of both commercial passenger numbers and corporate jet movements has been
hit hard by the turmoil in global financial markets, however.

Passenger traffic is still forecast to rise from 2.9m to 3.2m this year thanks
to rapid expansion in the first half, but it is forecast to be flat in 2010.  
Corporate jet movements are already falling and are expected to decline from 15,000
to 14,500 this year.

"We could see some return to modest growth in 2010, but we have been finding
it very difficult to forecast in recent months," said Richard Gooding, chief executive
of the airport.

As growth in demand resumes the airport expects the higher limit on flight numbers
to allow passenger numbers to rise to more than 3.9m with the number of jobs at
the airport increasing by 1,000 to more than 3,000.

The airport has already invested heavily to create facilities to cope with higher
numbers and in recent months has added four more aircraft stands. It has opened
a new pier and has almost doubled the size of the departure lounge.

It has a growing network of European and domestic short-haul destinations, as
business travellers take the opportunity to avoid the increasing congestion at
the main London airports.

Both Air France and British Airways have greatly increased their operations at
the airport with competition growing between the three main airline alliances.
Next year BA plans to open the first long-haul route from London City to New York
JFK using all-business class A318s, the smallest jets made by Airbus.

AIG, the stricken US insurer, sold its 50% stake in London City two weeks ago
to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), its partner in the purchase of London
City airport two years ago.

• Gatwick, the UK’s second-largest airport, is to be sold by BAA in response
to pressure from the Competition Commission, which is preparing to call for the
break-up of the airports group. Analysts have estimated a Gatwick deal could be
worth £2bn. It is the world’s busiest single runway airport and handled 35m passengers
last year.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/38744194-9586-11dd-aedd-000077b07658.html

 

Read more »

Protest by the Woodland Trust against Stansted runway

21.9.2008   (AOL)

 

 

Campaigners have protested about plans for a second runway at Stansted airport
Campaigners have protested about plans for a second runway at Stansted airport

A group of “trees” gathered outside BAA’s offices in London to protest against
the loss of ancient woodland which a second runway at Stansted Airport would cause.

The campaigners from the Woodland Trust dressed up as the trees of ancient Philipland
Wood, one of five ancient forest sites which would be lost if the second runway
goes ahead.

The Trust is concerned that nearly 20 hectares of ancient woodland – which it
describes as the UK’s equivalent to rainforest – will be cut down under BAA’s
plans.

The loss of the woods will destroy habitat for wildlife including the dormouse,
bluebell, early purple orchid and glow worm.

Other areas, including the medieval royal woodland of Hatfield Forest, would
be damaged by pollution and new roads, the Trust said.

The campaigners are urging the public to send in objections to the scheme before
the closing date on September 26.

Ed Pomfret, of the Woodland Trust, said: “Ancient woodland is highly sensitive
and is susceptible to changes in the climate brought on by climate change.

“We believe this proposal is irresponsible and unnecessary.”

The tree campaigners are making a “farewell” tour of central London sites, including
Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and Liverpool Street station.

link to article

Read more »

Climate protester disrupts Ryanair AGM (Ireland)

18.9.2008   (Irish Times)

Ryanair’s AGM was disrupted by a climate change activist in Dublin this morning.

A topless protester, calling himself Rob Mac, approached the top of the meeting
in Radisson Hotel, Dublin Airport, to where Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary
was on the podium.

The protest was organised by a group calling itself Plane Mad who say they are
campaigning for the responsible use of aviation. The group claims aviation will
negate all other reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland if current
growth continues.

A Ryanair spokeswoman played down the incident saying the protester left the
meeting with incident. (sic)

In July Mr O’Leary criticised a decision by the European Parliament to include
aviation in its CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). He said it could eventually
cost consumers an additional €50 on every flight.

Mr O’Leary said the ruling, which MEPs described as an "enormous stride" in safeguarding
the environment against greenhouse gases, would not reduce emissions, but instead
"further damage European airlines" at a time when oil costs some $140 a barrel.

"These clowns in the European Parliament seem determined to destroy the European
airline industry with these discriminatory taxation penalties," Mr O’Leary said
in July

"Aviation is not the cause of, nor the solution to, CO2 emissions or global warming.
Increasing taxation on air travel will have no effect on either emissions or global
warming, it will just raise the cost of air travel for ordinary European consumers."

Ryanair told today’s meeting it would break even in the current year if oil remains
at $100 a barrel, and would return to profitability next year if the price continues
to fall.

© 2008 irishtimes.com

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0918/breaking49.htm

 

Plane Mad’s website is at:

http://www.planemad.org  

Read more »

Frankfurt airport direct action camp

4.9.2008  


Banneraktion

 

Things are hotting up over the channel. Campaigners against the expansion of
Frankfurt airport have been squatting the forest of Kelsterbach, where the airport’s
bosses plan to clearcut 100,000 trees to build a new runway. The runway would
double the number of flights, destroying any last remenant of peace and quiet
for local residents.

This week the protestors have been hosting a direct action camp, with training, information and networking. Today is when everything starts
to kick off, with intense action planning meetings; days of action kick off on
Friday. There’s more information (in German) on the
group’s website, but expect action and excitement later this week!

P.s. the photo is from a ‘Banneraktion’ in Frankfurt’s Terminal 2 in early August.

http://www.planestupid.com/?q=planespeaking

 

see also

Earth First

The forest of kelsterbach near the airport of frankfurt/main is occupied now
since three month. Fraport (the corporation running frankfurt airport) is planning
to build a new runway on this place, cutting down every tree on 300ha of land.
In total something about 100.000 trees would have to fall for the profit of an
enormous international acting corporation. For the people of this region it will
mean twice the flight movements per year, at least to a level of one movement
every 45 sec.

In the first week of september there will be an action camp on the site of occupation,
from where we ´re going to start countless direct activities in the forests, the
streets and the terminals.

Programme

the camp will be an DIY camp, we will provide a kitchen, food and all what is
necessary to cook, but we are not enough people to cook alone, so we will do this
altogether. The action camp starts monday 1.9.08 an will end on sunday 7.9.08.

http://www.earthfirst.org.uk/actionreports/node/21343
 
 
see also
 
KELSTERBACH FOREST OCCUPATION CAMP AGAINST AIRPORT EXPANSION
 
28th November 2008
http://www.earthfirst.org.uk/actionreports/node/21781

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