Aviation campaigners prepare for direct action

Campaigners from Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted meet with direct-action experts

Campaigners against airport expansion are preparing to take direct action against any new runways the Government may propose in its Aviation White Paper, expected later this year (1). Earlier this week campaigners from Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted met with members of the Rising Tide direct action network and other direct action experts (2). The protesters began the process of drawing up plans for a campaign of direct action and civil disobedience.

John Stewart, the Chair of HACAN ClearSkies, “New Labour could face the same sort of angry protests over runway expansion as the Conservatives encountered over their road building plans in the 1990s. Protesters are furious that the Government seems prepared to override the interests of local communities in its desire to please it friends in the aviation industry. It is no longer a question of if direct action will take place, but where.”

Stewart added, “It is significant that campaigners from all three of the South East’s main airports were present at the meeting about direct action. The message to Alistair Darling was quite clear: we will stand up to the bulldozers together.”

Protesters will be working closely with direct experts over the coming months to put in place a strategic campaign plan for direct action. This will include training local people in direct action techniques.

Notes for Editors

  1. The Aviation White Paper is expected in December. It will include the Government’s decision on its favoured sites for new runways. The options for new runways and new airports were laid out in the consultation document published earlier this year. The consultation period ended on 30th June.

  2. Individual campaigners from Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick were present along with members of Friends of the Earth. A similar meeting will be held in the Midlands to involve campaigners against the expansion of Birmingham Airport.

For further information contact John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957 385650.