Manchester & Heathrow Climate Rush picnics


Northern Climate Rush at Manchester Airport

While 500 protesters occupied the domestic departure lounge at Heathrow airport at 7pm on Monday 12th Jan, others tried a simultaneous occupation at Manchester airport....

At the Northern Climate Rush at Manchester airport between 50 and 100 people attempted to occupy the domestic departures lounge but found large numbers of police screening entry at the doors. The police cordoned off protesters in an area away from passengers. 



The group spelled out 'flying kills' in coats, scarves and an umbrella on the floor. A man with a cello and a woman with a violin played music by the composer Handel while others ate food from a picnic hamper. However, frustrated at being moved out of passengers sight one of the protesters attempted to breech police lines and was arrested. 



Supt Dave Hull said: "Despite repeated attempts to contact the organisers, they failed to engage with us. Therefore, officers did not know how many protestors would attend so we had to prepare for a range of contingencies. One man was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence."

For VIDEO footage see
http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1586371503/bctid6995110001

Around 50 climate change activists gathered in Terminal 3 of Manchester Airport last night to protest against airport expansion and domestic flights. The demo mirrored the Climate Rush ‘Dinner at Departures’ protest at Heathrow’s Terminal 1 at the same time. ( http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/manchester/2009/01/418105.html)

There are around 32 flights a day between Manchester and the London hubs, despite the high speed rail connection. ( http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1026945_plea_to_scrap_lond...)

The protesters dressed in Edwardian period arrived to find Terminal 3 locked down with around 70 police officers, including Forward Intelligence Teams from the Metropolitan police. They were read parts of the Riot Act before entering a ‘designated protest area’.

Former Manchester City Councillor, Vanessa Hall, who attended the Northern Climate Rush said:

“ With the speed of intercity trains there is no longer any just or sensible reason to take domestic flights. All expansion plans, including those at Manchester and Heathrow should be shelved. Passenger numbers at Manchester Airport have been falling for at least the last 6 months.”

She added, “In a time of recession and climate crisis, government money should be spent on improvements to rail, trams, and buses, not on subsidies and infrastructure for the aviation industry.”

Aviation accounts for 13% of UK global warming emissions and is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases. Airlines pay no tax on aviation fuel, costing the public purse an estimated £10 billion.

Manchester Airport claims it intends to go carbon neutral by 2015 - but this will not include the emissions from the aeroplanes.

www.stopmanchesterairport.org.uk

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Heathrow Terminal One Climate Rush Picnic a success!

I arrived at Heathrow terminal one with alot of trepidation and caution. Not knowing what to expect, I dressed in a suit and tie to avoid attracting interest. It did not work.

I entered the terminal and when up to domestic departures to see what was happening. I found a place to sit and enjoy a coffee whilst waiting. Being near the place where alot of BAA security guards were gathering, I overheard them trying to guess who was a protester and who was a passenger...it was very funny knowing I sat yards away and they had did not realise....

The airport was in a state of some considerable alert. It seems that Climate Rush and a devilishly criminal plan to have a militant picnic (by mostly women) in departures had BAA on the run.

The cops were another matter. FIT crews were on the upper gangways and over 100 police occupied the departures lounge when i arrived about an hour before. Even more arrived as I sipped my coffee and read the Guardian.

After twenty minutes, two cops sauntered over to me and ask whether they could search me. I asked why. they said there is a protest planned and they were looking for climate chaos extremists. I said I was waiting for a friend. After finding nothing and believing my story, they let me go. I decided to move to Cafe Rouge where everybody was gathering...safety in numbers I thought. soon as I got up there, there was another 30 cops watching absolutely everyone...

As the minutes counted down, I moved with undercurrents down into the departure check in area and was joined by about 50 or 60 people who started to lay out a banner and a well stocked organic and home cooked picnic. Ten minutes later, the bulk of protesters arrived and the departures check in filled up fast. Real passengers moved aside and the police moved in to encircle the picnic. By this stage close to 500 climate rush protesters were spreading themselves out in a ever widening circle. The strings Quartet began playing and a few people started playing with a big ball which looked like the planet.

The BAA corporate media descended and so did lots of TV camera's hoping for an interview. at one such so many interviews were being given, it became difficult to move around. Speaking with some of the organizers, they claimed an enormous success in suspending the operation of terminal 1. It certainly looked like a success to me.

A while later and after most of the food had been eaten (flushed down with a little wine), everyone rose to their feet and started chanting. After Stanstead, the government, media and police were saying that everyone was an extremist and possibly eco-terrorists. So the protesters, mostly women (some in the 50 and 60's) started chanting " do we look like terrorists?" and 'down with BAA'

After one hour, the cops were closing the circle fearing a blockade or a long-term occupation. I feared we were all going to be hemmed in and arrested so I decided to retreat with my video camera intact and get back home.

Worried about what I had walked away from, I rang a friend who said that everything was alright. the demo had finished 15 minutes after I left and there had been no arrests. In fact the cops relaxed and got quite bored as climate-rush activists offered them food!

http://www.climaterush.co.uk/