For immediate release: 2nd January 2006

Battle lines drawn: Green activists plan to halt airport expansion plans

Yesterday The Observer revealed the level of intent from the government on constructing a third runway at Heathrow. (1) Eco-activists however have already begun a campaign of direct action, working alongside local resident community groups, to try and halt aviation industry and government plans for expansion. (2)

Environmental activists have been meeting with local residents from villages near Heathrow to discuss plans for their campaign. Experienced activists who have been involved in grassroots campaigns against genetic engineering and road building have given workshops in Non-Violent Direct Action.

The campaign has already begun. Late last year a team of Earth First! protestors disrupted the world’s biggest aviation industry conference in London, using rape alarms attached to helium balloons. Meanwhile, airline industry bosses required a police escort to attend a gala dinner on Towerbridge walkways as residents from ‘HACAN Clearskies’ and ‘No Third Runway Action Group’ (NOTRAG) joined environmentalists to protest against expansion plans. Transport Secretary Alistair Darling too had a pie thrown in his face by one Earth First! activist at the launch of industry lobby group, “Future Heathrow.�

One activist explained, “The lines are drawn. The government is showing a blatant disregard over the dangers of climate change by flying in the face of the scientists’ warnings, and pushing ahead with plans for airport expansion. Aviation is the fastest growing cause of climate change and they won’t succeed without a fight. Let the battle commence.�


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