Cam­paign­ers have a die-in dur­ing air­port ex­pan­sion protest

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Emily Chudy emily.chudy@trin­i­tymir­

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)

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