- A resident of Harmondsworth, near Heathrow
After a sustained and long running campaign by the community near Stansted, the Uttlesford District Council have blocked the proposed plans for expansion of the existing runway. BAA however is refusing to accept the democratic ruling and is taking it to a public enquiry. A campaign fund has been launched to fight the enquiry. www.stopstanstedexpansion.com
~ OCCUPATION AGAINST BRISTOL EXPANSION ~
On the 4th December, activists from South West Climate Action occupied North Somerset Environment and Planning Offices to protest against plans for expansion of Bristol airport. Photos and report at www.indymedia.org.uk
~EASYJET SHUT IN DAY OF ACTION AGAINST SHORT HAUL FLIGHTS! ~
On November 6th, activists from around the country came together to take
action against short haul flights. Plane Stupid activists shut down the London HQ of EasyGroup, the owners of low-cost carrier Easyjet, and London Rising Tide visited the Civil Aviation Authority, presenting them with a giant cheque for the £9.2 billion annual subsidy received by the industry from taxpayers.
In Cambridge, Manchester, Reading and London, there were protests outside
travel agents, while Leeds Bradford airport was plastered with anti-aviation
stickers. Robin Hood airport received a visit from Robin and his Merry Men, doubly-angry because the airport has been opposing local wind farm applications. Activists in Manchester dropped a banner, and in Southend a travel agents was shut when a protestor locked herself to the front door.
30 travel agents across the UK had their front doors chained shut by activists who left signs on the windows reading, "Closed for a total rethink. See www.planestupid.com"
A member of staff at Flight Centre said, “Plane Stupid are causing mayhem here today, everyone is getting all aerated and vexed.” We’ll give them “aerated and vexed!” What about the 182 million people to die in Africa this century alone because of climate change, or the residents of ‘hacked off’ Harmondsworth?
The day of action came as new research from HACAN Clearskies shows that 100,000 flights from Heathrow each year are to short haul destinations that are easily reachable by the more sustainable train alternative.
Reports and photos at www.indymedia.org.uk
~ COURT REJECTS ASBOS FOR NEMA 25 ~
Loughborough Magistrates Court rejected calls from the Crown Prosecution Service to slap ASBOs on the 24 Plane Stupid activists who they described as “highly organized extremists” that were arrested in connection with the shut down of Nottingham East Midlands short haul airport in September.
In an apparent move aimed to avoid having the case heard by a jury, the charge of public nuisance was dropped, as was the charge relating to an alleged breach of the aviation and security act.
Campaigner for Plane Stupid, Ellen Rickford, said, “The same day that we learn the government is pushing ahead with its airport expansion proposals, they try to use ASBOs to stamp out peaceful protest. Well, it seems their plans were as doomed as the aviation industry.”
17 activists got one year conditional discharges (the minimum sentence available) and each was charged £70 in costs. The 5 charged with criminal damage in addition to aggravated trespass were given varying levels of community service. One person was referred to Crown Court due to unresolved legal issues and another had his case adjourned until January 31st. One other activist was unable to attend court due to illness.
Help us pay our fines! Donate via: www.planestupid.com
~ TOP 100 GREEN CAMPAIGNERS OF ALL TIME ~
Veteran green campaigner and regular spokesman for Plane Stupid, John Stewart, has been named by the Environment Agency as the 82nd most influential green activist of all time! Just one position behind Mahatma Gandhi...
~ MARKETING GURU PREDICTS END OF SHORT HAUL AIR TRAVEL ~
In a cover-story feature of Marketing Weekly Magazine, triggered by our national day of action, a PR guru is quoted as saying that he thinks short haul budget air travel will go the same way that coal did in the 80s because, “they are unnecessary, outdated and therefore facing decline.” Too right!
~ AVIATION INDUSTRY PUBLISH “TEN REASONS TO KEEP FLYING” ~
Responding to Plane Stupid’s “10 reasons to ground the Plane” – the aviation industry’s PR people at www.cheapflights.co.uk have come up with, “10 reasons to keep flying!” This comes after the Stern report singled out aviation as one of the most significant causes of climate change.
~ PLANE STUPID ON LONDON CLIMATE MARCH ~
Around fifty Plane Stupid-ers marched together with AirportWatch campaigners and Stansted residents on the Campaign against Climate Change (CaCC) march to Trafalgar Square on November 4th. There was an 8ft long wooden plane on storks, big banners and tons of petitioning. Marching with Plane Stupid was Newsnight’s ‘ethical man’ and Seize the Day’s Theo and Shannon. Photos available soon on the website...
In the meantime, see www.indymedia.org.uk
~ POLITICS ROUND-UP ~
Gordon Brown snubbed scientists and campaigners calls for tough new green taxes and instead opted in his pre-budget report for the pathetic political gesture of increasing air passenger duty by £5. This news came less than a week after a report from BA boss, Rod Eddington, who was hired by Gordon Brown and paid by us the taxpayer, to (shock) suggest airport expansion was a good thing. So we now know that industry bosses support their own plans. Fancy that!
~ DO YOU WANT US TO SPEAK IN YOUR AREA? ~
Plane Stupid speakers have appeared at the Lib Dem Regional Conference along with Shadow Environment Minister, Chris Huhne; at the LSE alongside Stop Climate Chaos director, Ashok Sinha; at student union venues including in London and Sussex; and at local Greenpeace and FoE meetings across the UK. If you want us to come and talk in your area, get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org
CAMP FOR CLIMATE ACTION MEETINGS
Following the successful climate camp at Drax, plans are afoot for the next camp which will be at a different location…get involved with putting plans into action.
PLANE STUPID BENEFIT GIG/FILM SHOWING
On Friday 26th January, Brixton Jamm presents The Alabama3. Tickets available soon via www.planestupid.com
--------------------------- RESOURCES ---------------------------------------------------------------
~ PLANE STUPID: A year in review ~
On November 29th, Plane Stupid had its first anniversary. For a reflection on the incredible momentum we’ve built up over the last year, with video footage and photos for download, see www.planestupid.com
~ PLANE STUPID Blog ~
Plane Stupid has established a blog at www.myspace.com/planestupid. Its first blog entry includes, “The armchair environmentalist’s guide to offsets... or ‘How to save the world for 38p!’)”
~ LEGAL RESOURCE FOR ACTIVISTS~
Experienced campaigners are offering free advice and training to grassroots groups including legal skills and more. www.seedsforchange.org.uk
~ THE SHEILA McKECHNIE AWARDS ~
The Sheila McKechnie Awards provide campaign development packages to grassroots campaigners. Up for grabs is a ‘Transport Award’…anyone wanting to apply should see: www.sheilamckechnie.org.uk