ELEVEN ARRESTED! – in climate change protest

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Police stop and search young people near to the Climate Change camp at Heathrow Airport
Police stop and search young people near to the Climate Change camp at Heathrow Airport

ON the third day of the Climate Change camp, on the northern perimeter of Heathrow Airport, 1800 police were on duty, searching, monitoring and harassing up to 500 resolute and law abiding climate change protesters.

Lewis told News Line: ‘They are using anti-terrorism laws to search people. That’s the only way they can search you without a reason.

‘We are not terrorists’, said Lewis.

He continued: ‘Relations with the police are changing all the time but generally the atmosphere is extremely tense.

‘We have always been very open that there is going to be a period of non-violent direct action from 12 noon on Sunday until 12 noon on Monday.’

He added: ‘Local residents marched through Sipson yesterday, and we want to work with all of those who are opposed to the expansion of the airport.’

Eleven climate change protesters were however arrested yesterday morning at Biggin Hill, Kent, seven of whom had chained themselves to the gates of the airport.

Bolt cutters were used to remove the seven before all eleven were arrested under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.

Two independent groups had stopped carbon-intensive private jets from operating at Biggin Hill.

A similar protest took place at Farnborough airport.

Campaigners said that the actions were intended to raise awareness of the true cost of this hidden aspect of air travel.

Richard George, currently at Biggin Hill said: ‘The aviation industry would like us to think that all flights are being taken by hard-working families on their once-a-year holiday.

‘We are here today to shine a light on the dark secret of aviation, namely the enormous growth in private jet use by the super-rich.’

The protesters added that the actions are focused only on the carbon-intensive nature of private business jets.

George added: ‘While ordinary people are trying to reduce their carbon emissions, many business leaders insist on flying in the most carbon-intensive way possible: a jet all of their own.’

Back at the Heathrow camp, Tom Johnston told News Line what happened when 20 or so of the FIT (Forward Intelligence Team) came on site on Tuesday evening, when they had previously agreed not to.

‘They broke the agreement and one protester had to go to the first aid after being punched in the face.’

Mike from Newcastle added: ‘Some people were punched by a few officers. Then their commanding officer ordered a retreat and they walked backwards off the site kicking tent pegs and guide ropes as they went.’