Lots of love for cam­paign­ers

Plane Stupid pro­test­ers adopted at his­toric pub

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

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.”

Af­ter­wards

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

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