Campaigners have a die-in during airport expansion protest
HUNDREDS of people staged ‘die-in’ protests and a bike ride at Heathrow Airport on Saturday against the airport’s planned expansion and the new runway’s impact on climate change.
Dozens of people took part in a flashmob inside Heathrow terminal two, with airport users weaving through the protesters.
Activists wore gas masks and lay on the floor as testimonies from communities affected by climate change were read.
Simultaneously, a bike ride with 150 riders circled the area, visiting Harmondsworth Detention Centre, obstructing traffic by circling the main roundabout, in Bath Road, and dropping banners.
The protest was part of the action against airport expansion and was timed to coincide with a UN conference aiming to address the emissions impact of aviation.
The decision on whether airport expansion will take place at Heathrow or Gatwick is expected this month, with recent reports suggesting there is parliamentary support for the expansion of Heathrow.
Maya Adams, a spokesperson for Reclaim the Power, said: “Expanding airports is completely irresponsible and will bring us out of reach of our own targets to stop climate change. This problem isn’t being caused by businesses or normal families taking a holiday, but a wealthy elite ‘ binge flying’, often to second homes.
“Yet it’s poorer countries that are the hardest hit by climate change, even though they have done the least to cause the problem.
“Expanding Heathrow is incompatible with creating a fairer and more equal world.”
Ms Adams added: “When governments fail us, when international UN bodies that are meant to be dealing with these problems fail us, it’s time for normal people to take a stand.
“People power has defeated this runway before and it’ll defeat it again.
“We can runways, or honour our binding commitments. “We can’t do both.” Businesses, residents and MPs are now pushing for the expansion decision to be made after David Cameron pushed it back several times, despite claiming it won’t go ahead at Heathrow, with a memorable ‘no ifs, no buts’ line.
A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport said: “The peaceful build new we can legally climate demonstration that took place Heathrow earlier today involved a small group of people, and the airport operated as normal throughout.
“Check-in and security were not affected.
“The action was part of a world-wide day of protest against aviation in general, which included protests at Gatwick as well.”
We can build new runways or we can honour our legally binding climate commitments. We can’t do both”
n GET THE MESSAGE: Hundreds of people took part in a protest at Heathrow at the weekend with a ‘die-in’ (above) and a cycle ride (left)