res. | 19.08.2007 17:01 | Climate Camp 2007
Eventually the kids march reached their intended destination which was a local garden center, where the proprietors openly welcomed them. However due to the fact that along the way the kids march had swelled (to around 5/600 ppl) with the number of local residents and their children which had joined the march, number were too great for the garden center. Local residents on the march and campers came to a joint agreement continue on to Sipson; the march left the garden center and continued to move on.
The march to Sipson was very lively with chants and singing and lots of support and cheering from locals. At Sipson however, a long delayed occurred over the decision on where to go next. The negotiations on where to go next involved discussions with the police, the local MP John McDonald was active in these negotiations conveying the wishes of the march.
Sipson and Harmondsworth residents on the march wanted to go onto Harmondsworth and along with the Kids march, this is what was collectively decided and negotiated. At Harmondsworth the plan was to assemble at the local village green. However on the way to the village green march was blocked by a line of police with a phalanx of riot cops approaching behind the police line. A long stand off of around half an hour took place whilst further negotiations between a police commander and John McDonald occurred. It was eventually agreed that the Kids March could advance down then road to Harmondsworth Village Green, where the march began to have a series of speeches.
The speeches included John McDonald who thanked the Camp for Climate Action as well as saying that the plans for the 3rd runway would destroy Sipson and Harmondsworth, before declaring “No third runway, we will win”.
Another speaker was Christine Shilling from NoTRAG - No Third Runway Action Group Heathrow Airport - (www.notrag.org), who said that 7 years ago she and a few neighbours became concerned about the runways and as their campaign began to grow .... she never dreamed that what has happened could have happened and it had given her confidence that they would win.
A local Harmondsworth resident also spoke movingly of his daughter who was buried at the local Harmondsworth cometary and had been outraged at the original plans which involved moving the bodies from the graveyard. He was determined to stop the third runway and that the climate camp had enormously lifted the spirits of many. He said that the protests were peaceful, but that if the politicians would not listen to them then he did not think it would always be so and that people would have to take more direct action.
Another speaker, George Monbiot spoke of a local man, Richard Cox, also buried in the Harmondsworth Cemetery who 'invented' the Cox's Orange Pippin apple (Cox's apple). he went on to say that the local area used to be full of orchards, now buried under runways. Monbiot said that the fact that we now have to fly in apples from far away demonstrates that the cause of all this is economic madness without end.
After the speeches when folks were deciding to leave the green, a set of decisions were collectively made. Some decided to leave the village green and head back towards the camp, other decided to head towards BAA and others decided to stay on the green and disperse later on.
Those groups going towards BAA and the camp separated at a junction. The group that came back to camp did not have any further delays from the police and there were no incidents reported.
All in all an amazing march – well done to all!!
More updates to come...........
I am said to have spoken to the crowd in the centre of Harmondsworth on the day of the final march.
I did NOT.
The person who addressed the group was CHRISTINE TAYLOR, THE VICE-CHAIR OF NoTRAG. I was there listening to her.
Please correct this