Grow­ing pains for run­way bailiffs as protesters dig in

Anti-air­port ex­pan­sion group con­tin­ues to fight Heathrow

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Nathan Spen­de­low nathan.spen­de­low@trin­i­tymir­

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


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