Lots of love for campaigners
Plane Stupid protesters adopted at historic pub
THIRTEEN Plane Stupid campaigners who face jail for occupying a runway at Heathrow, were ‘adopted’ at a Valentine’s Day rally in support of them at Harmondsworth.
Anti-Heathrow expansion campaigners enjoyed a “great atmosphere” at the 11th Century Five Bells pub in the village, which would be demolished if a third runway goes ahead.
A special Valentine’s Day cake was made for the occasion and cut by ‘Sam’, one of the activists, and Sheila Taylor who has lived in the area all her life.
Names were drawn to match residents with the activists. The idea is that residents – many of whom would see their homes compulsorily purchased if a new runway goes ahead – will write to a protestor in jail to make their stay more bearable.
The group of 13 were found guilty of aggravated trespass and entering a security restricted area on January 25 and are expected to be jailed when they next appear for sentencing at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on February 24.
John Stewart, chair of HACAN, the residents’ group which opposes a new runway, said: “There was a warm mood of mutual support in the room. It was made 100% clear that the activists won’t be alone when they are sentenced next week.
“Residents and direct action protesters are united as one in their determination to stop a third runway.”
customers and campaigners at the packed pub went outside for a celebration on Harmondsworth Green.
Nearly 800 homes will need to be demolished for a new runway but Heathrow has admitted it might need to buy up almost 4,000 homes as the noise of planes landing and taking off in the nearby communities of Sipson and Harlington might be unbearable.
A government decision on whether to give the green light to a third runway at Heathrow or a second runway at Gatwick is expected in the
second half of this year.
n GET THE MESSAGE?: Campaigners in Harmondsworth and inset, The Five Bells which faces demolition if the third runway goes ahead