Growing pains for runway bailiffs as protesters dig in
Anti-airport expansion group continues to fight Heathrow
BAILIFFS mounted an unsuccessful attempt to evict climate activists from Heathrow Airport’s potential third runway zone last week.
The Grow Heathrow community garden, in Sipson, has been occupied since March 2010 and is one of many spaces that could be demolished if the third runway goes ahead.
Last Wednesday, ‘five or six’ High Court bailiffs, accompanied by seven police officers and the landowner, visited the site, according to the community gardeners, who posted an account on their Transition Heathrow website.
The squatters, who are blocking the runway, peacefully made themselves difficult to remove by climbing onto roofs, climbing up a tripod of scaffolding poles and locking their bodies to structures on site.
Campaigner Jack White, 25, told the Gazette: “Unqualified, inexperienced people like us shelved plans for a third runway in 2013 and we’ll do it again, because the climate science still rules out airport expansion.”
Tracy Howard, who has lived in Sipson for more than 17 years, added: “Of course Grow Heathrow and other residents aren’t going to let themselves be evicted to make way for climate crimes.
“We will not let more than 700 of our homes be evicted and my kid’s school bulldozed for a climate change factory that could emit 11.7m tonnes of CO2 – more than all of Kenya.”
The protesters locked themselves into structures and climbed to higher ground while police told bailiffs they were unequipped to enforce eviction.
They said no official documentation regarding a warrant for eviction was presented to Grow Heathrow or to the police, therefore the attempt to evict the site was unlawful.
A statement on the Transition Heathrow site hailed the protesters’ success and added: “This has proved to be useful practice for our call-out response, with many locals and individuals in the Grow Heathrow family arriving this morning.”
AS YOU WERE: An attempt to evict the Grow Heathrow, anti-third runway gardening community failed last week