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Plane Stupid / Manchester Climate Action blockade Manchester domestic terminal

Plane Stupid / Manchester Climate Action | 08.10.2007 08:49 | Climate Camp 2007 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | London

Activists from Manchester Climate Action and Manchester Plane Stupid have blockaded the security check-in of terminal 3 of Manchester Airport.

Passengers are being denied access to the departure lounge by seven activists locked together using arm-tube devices. Two banners have been unfurled reading, “Manchester City Council... supporting climate chaos” and “Domestic flights cost the Earth”. Other protesters are leafleting passengers with information about aviation and climate change as well as handing out train timetables for route destinations.

Aviation is the fastest growing source of green house gases and according to the government is responsible for 13% of the UK's global warming contribution. The overwhelming majority of flights from terminal 3 are to domestic UK destinations such as London Heathrow. These are the most unnecessary flights. The group are calling for an end to all domestic and short-haul flights and for international aviation to be included in the Climate Change Bill.

The protesters are also highlighting the contradiction between Manchester City Council's 'Green City' initiative and their 55% ownership of Manchester airport . The airport intends to expand its annual passenger numbers from 22 million in 2005, to 39 million by 2015, to 50 million by 2030.

Green Party Councillor Vanessa Hall, who is taking part in the blockade said,

"Manchester Council say we need the income from the airport to fight poverty. The Airport costs the people of Manchester in tax breaks and subsidies – this money should be invested directly into green industries directly creating jobs and relieving poverty. Climate Change will have a massive impact on our economy, health and well-being. It is environmental and economic lunacy to consider any expansion of aviation."

"We can't be a Green City with an expanding Airport. I am blockading domestic flights to highlight the true cost of flying and to call the council to account for their hypocrisy."

The action today was inspired by the Camp for Climate Action which saw around 2000 protesters gather next to Heathrow airport in London this summer.

Robbie Gillett, also present at the protest said, "It is no longer socially acceptable to fly from Manchester to London given what we know about climate change. It's absurd when there are train alternatives readily available. The money earmarked for the expansion of British airports needs to be redirected towards improving our rail infrastructure. We're the last generation who can stop climate change and time is running out."

Plane Stupid / Manchester Climate Action
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08.10.2007 11:42

Photos from the action

Plane Stupid
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Hide the following 26 comments

so clever

08.10.2007 10:16

that's so funny.

stoppimng all those chavs getting on their cheapo flights to torremolenos!

let's hope the cops give us the punchline by using lethal force on the self-rightous middle-class pretend-crustys LOL!

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08.10.2007 10:45

this was possibly the most inept and embaressing demo ever.

The airport security opened up another door, so no one was held up at all.

They put a screen up around the lock-on so no one could even see the demo.

The protesters weren't arrested and went home instead.

"Now that's what I call Anarchy!"

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Domestic flights

08.10.2007 11:08

Sorry Dan - this demo disrupted business chappies jetting off to London etc, not your 'chavs' off to Magaloof. That's the key to domesticity you see - it tends not to cover international flights.

Pity you had to wheel out all the cliches, just to be wrong, isn't it...

Infrequent flier

I agree

08.10.2007 11:41

These morons give the environmental action movement an even worse name than it's already got. These self righteous middle class pricks need to be ostracized till they grow up and stop looking down on the rest of us from their moralistic activistoid ivory tower. grrrrrrr


oooh, hit a raw nerve have we...

08.10.2007 12:11

Seems this action's hit a raw nerve - most of those comments are just a wee bit over-defensive, well, downright aggressive. And why is that?

You trot out all the best cliches to attack, so you don't have to look at the impact of your own behaviour. Shame.

Oh yes, it's a class war - the poor/working class/etc have an absolute right to fly. Bull fucking shit - s'pose they should be allowed to shit in their kids mouths too (which to simplify is what people are doing). And when did you last see such a community - people who aspire to fly once a year, but don't have the money to; talk to them about flying and they say 'not relevant'; talk to them about roads and the pollution and danger affecting communities and kids, that's an issue that feels relevant to them (having worked with such communities recently).

Read-up on the issues if you care to stop ranting bile for a moment, and you might understand the urgency of the changes we have to make in our own lives, as well as trying to mess with the companies and the like who are pushing climate chaos. Otherwise, go rant at a mirror.


Just Wondering...

08.10.2007 12:35 any of those posting criticisms have any actual theory or reason to back up these arguments, or a suggestion on how to avoid whatever pitfall they consider Plane Stupid to have fallen into next time? Don't get me wrong, I'm all up for a bit of inter-movement criticism, but only when it's in the form of productive discussion. This all seems a touch superficial.

Dave C
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08.10.2007 13:14

I did mention on the other posting about this absurd action that occupying the offices of the companies involved, the local council to highlight the hypocrisy of the Manchester Green City thing are alternate and better targets. There are loads of things that they could have done. How about attacking the offices of virgin or gner to highlight the outrageous prices they charge?
Also those taking internal flights are not all off to the city to play the market. Flying is often cheaper than getting the train, especially if you need to travel a long distance at the last minute.
I'm not going to include buses as long distance bus journeys are a hellish nightmare that will probably result in DVT if taken too often.
What about all the other industries that are having a derogatory impact on our world? What about organizing in our communities and workplaces to take control over our own lives?
Nah that's a load of shit we're all doomed! argh! argh! we've got to do something, anything! aaaaaaaaaargh! Where's the super glue?


thumbnail image

08.10.2007 13:16


here you go.

for example

Good Work

08.10.2007 13:37

Ignore all the nonsense above - this looks like a great action. It's clear from the video that loads of passengers saw what you were doing, it's been all over the national media today, and the airport had to make a public apology for the disruption.

This sort of action is really important for keeping the link between aviation and climate change in the public consciousness, and for keeping the aviation industry on the defensive. The target - domestic flights - was also really well-chosen. Although they're just the tip of the (swiftly-melting) iceberg, domestic UK flights are so clearly utter madness on a warming planet that they're hopefully a good starting point for getting people to confront the sticky issue of aviation reduction.

And surely the fact that no-one was arrested should be counted as a good thing...? Activists roaming free to campaign another day without fines and court appearances to get in the way - sounds great to me.

Much respect to all involved!

Oxford Bunny

Oxford Bunny

wa wa

08.10.2007 14:35

> There are loads of things that they could have done. How about attacking the offices of virgin or gner to
> highlight the outrageous prices they charge?
Er, maybe they and other people are doing those too...

> Also those taking internal flights are not all off to the city to play the market. Flying is often cheaper than
> getting the train, especially if you need to travel a long distance at the last minute.
My heart bleeds - actually, it doesn't, but a habitable planet for children & future generations dies with your words.

> I'm not going to include buses as long distance bus journeys are a hellish nightmare that will probably result in
> DVT if taken too often.
Sounds like you've not taken them in a while - and anyway, hellish journey vs hell on earth, um, er, let me think about that for a while...!!

> What about all the other industries that are having a derogatory impact on our world? What about organizing in
> our communities and workplaces to take control over our own lives?
Don't be so naive to think that people taking part in this action aren't doing other things, like these, in their lives, in between holding down jobs and the rest of their lives. Why don't you get out there and do something, rather than finding fault here.


can someone please explain what the point of this action is?

08.10.2007 15:59

i know some of you activists,
i've participated in actions with you in the past, (how do i know this? because your faces are splashed over indymedia).

this action is shit,
the politics behind this action are shit.

self-congratulatory, badly-thought out wankfest that does nothing to help in the fight against climate change.

how dare you.

how dare you claim to take inspiration from the camp for climate action, a camp that determined to act against the real culprits not to fuck with the lives of the general public.

how dare you presume to know the reason why these passengers were taking a cheap, internal flight.

how dare you not recognise the damage that this action will have done in the struggle to educate people about the dangers of increasing aviation pollution.

i know that many of you, both at the protest and sitting behind a computer screen, organise and participate in many worthy actions, but this aint one of them.

i am not against effective direct action, i am not against having fun on direct action, i am not against creativity.

please don't accuse me of not understanding the urgency required to save this planet for future generations of humans. i do, and this is why i'm incensed by: self-indulgent tokenistic spectacles that only hinder,
by wishy washy liberals, by thrill-seeking, attention grabbing 'activists'.

if people truly understood the situation we are currently faced with, the measures that will be used against us when the shit really hits the fan, they would not be splashing their tactics and faces across indymedia.

next time , think a little more deeply about possible ramifications before getting carried away with the allure of 'cardboard' lock-on tubes.

don't be an ego-warrior!

with rage &Love &rage...

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08.10.2007 16:00

I do have the right to criticize actions that I think are daft and counter productive. Actions of this sort alienate people as well as creating a false "us and them" mentality. Here "us" being the activists with their superior critique and special understanding and "them" being the rest of the world who don't understand/care/are too stupid. I find this offensive. Had they occupied or taken action against the corporations involved I would have been cheering them on. Focusing this action on the choices made by individuals is bullshit, not much different from claiming that using efficient light bulbs or driving a hybrid car is going to have any impact at all on the environmental crisis. It's gross industrial overproduction that is screwing our planet. Having a pop at someone for flying from Manchester to Edinburgh (or wherever) just isn't productive. I do hope that the folks who took part in this today are active in other ways, I'm pretty sure they will be. I just think that this particular action was ill conceived. Just because I do not take part in this particular form of action does not mean I have no right to criticize it. I take no part in parliamentary politics either yet am a harsh critic of politicians.


feisty is not the word for it

08.10.2007 21:38

If feistyfingers you know some of them, why don't you fucking talk to them, rather than spewing on an internet forum!

If you do indeed know them and want them to understand what you are saying, do you think they'll be able to listen if you vent your spleen on the screen!

You just sound like one of the "I've got something to be defensive about so I'll attack" brigade. how dare you. wankfest yourself. for fuck's sake go take a cold shower or something.

and while we all wait around for education to work but also don't ever show our faces, you get to be holier-than-thou, oh so radical, ego-strutting-warrior.

how dare you presume that the people who did this action haven't thought through all the things you accuse them of presuming!!

you and I are culprits both, of course not like Drax or Heathrow airport - but it's people who take the flights and buy the dirty power too.

I hope the people on this action have the sense not to be reading these comments, which can be so destructive sometimes, and are out enjoying themselves - you have to try and find your laughs somewhere, in between the urgency of the situation and the twats shouting at each other on here



09.10.2007 08:45

" any of those posting criticisms have any actual theory or reason to back up these arguments, or a suggestion on how to avoid whatever pitfall they consider Plane Stupid to have fallen into next time? Don't get me wrong, I'm all up for a bit of inter-movement criticism, but only when it's in the form of productive discussion. This all seems a touch superficial."

couldn't agree more

I fall into the camp that maybe palne stupid have got it wrong, but it requires some debate and discussion, not rubbish, and nasty comments- although keep in mind - indymedia has a lot of trolls who could come from anywhere, including from the right.

What seems odd to me is that Aviation should become the focus of enviromental groups when the biggest transport contributer to co2 is shipping, think of the amount of unncessary cargo shipped by industry and there is your criminal.

I also think that the actions of these groups should maybe focus on the reasons transport such as trains, etc. are so expensive, such as the selling off of public services into the private sector.

In a nutshell, capitalism is the reason, not people trying to take cheap holidays under that capitalist system.

Plain common sense

anti-planet league

09.10.2007 20:22

I think the reason so-called rads have been so enraged by this successful action is that it shows up the wanky cliquey talkshops that most of them manage to get together. It must be annoying if you blah-blah-blah along with the same bitter weirdies week after week to see a set of sorted people actually doing something....
Just a theory


i'm still unsure about the actual point of this action...

10.10.2007 11:09

but i accept that my vitriolic diatribe was not the best form of criticism.

i am glad that there are many comments that share my point of view, and have expressed opinions in an articulate, non-red-mist kinda way.
i'm also bemused by some of the comments and would especially love to understand how this was a "successful" action...?
yes, it got on the telly and radio....with 100% of the coverage & feedback being negative. (hey, but maybe i missed that breakthrough broadcast)

so, before i head off to my little troll cave, i ask again, just what was the point of this action?

still with rage&Love&rage

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Just doing something..

10.10.2007 11:39 crap. I'm all for taking effective action against the corporations involved but as I've previously said this action was ill thought out shite.


'Rads' are we? What does that make you?

10.10.2007 15:51

Reactionary, that's what.

Environmental devastation, like every other area that activists rightly get upset about, is fundamentally a class issue, to do with the way the profit system - like a cancer - must grow or die. This means extra runways, deforestation, etc. As the slogan goes, we need social change, not lifestyle change.

But I get the impression that some of those involved in climate camp activities - certainly the posh ones that get on the telly or radio and talk the Stern report - aren't interested in that. They want to take things backwards rather than forwards. So guilt is their only weapon, and that cannot succeed. It works with religions, but at least they promise you happy ever after in the next life. The questions have to be asked: what is in it for the people you are asking not to travel? And also, what is in it for you?

Neon Black


10.10.2007 22:29

Indeed we need fucking social change, whilst at least 160,000 people's 'lifestyles' are being directly extinguished every year from climate chaos.

But that's not an excuse to get on your wanky class war hobby horse and presume you know the background of people involved in the climate camp or this action, or say that therefore they are the enemy/should not be trusted/can be dismissed out of hand whilst I strut my pure-anarcho cred right here, on this screen.

Nor is it an excuse to presume, yes, presume, what poorer people in this country think about climate or flights, or as someone said, even take flights. I wrongly presume that every numpty would realise that climate chaos and the impacts of the choices richer people make (eg to fly) impact even more on the lives of the poorer, those who tend to have much smaller footprints in any case. Now whether that's poorer people here who are being shat on, or poorer people here shitting on even poorer people in other parts of the world, it still needs to be challenged.

As well as actions aimed at companies, or government, or working in your local community, if we're not all to die horribly we need to take actions that will be unpopular, but that force everyone, ourselves included, to challenge ourselves on our choices and the impacts that has on other people now or in the future.

Now occupying company offices, you end up confronting the less powerful workers in most cases, even if you don't want to; you also have questionable economic impact on the company involved. Can you perhaps see the similarities with this action?

I have seen neutral or positive media coverage of this, and it even made it into the (free) Metro. Hopefully this will encourage people to think about their actions/choices/impacts. Even if it had been all negative, I'd still say that this action was useful at the personal interaction level at the airport, and at the impact (on loads of different levels and timescales) that it will have on companies.

It's easy to get caught up in the 'usual way we do things', thinking that's morally right/effective/the only way, without perhaps challenging ourselves and branching out a little bit.

This action targetted DOMESTIC BUSINESS flights, and yes, of course it's not just about individual's choices, but about the whole system. But don't forget, that we have to address change at all levels, individual choices included - just not simplify the situation by saying it's all individual consumers fault or anything daft like that. A corporation relies on the people who work in it, and it is not a defence to shrug of responsibility because you're only a worker there, or because if you didn't do it someone worse would.

I'd personally say it's even deeper than capitalism anyway, but that's another whole chat down the (community-owned locally-brewed organic of course!) pub.



11.10.2007 09:01

jim, that cold shower done me the world of good, think you best jump in now though!


Did I say the words 'petit bourgeoisie'?

11.10.2007 16:39

I don't presume to know the class background of those involved in this action, they may well have been working class people who (in the relative absence of class based organisation) have taken part in this poorly conceived, planned and executed 'action'.

I have no problem with confronting workers, this needs to be done, and it seems to have been done well at this year's climate camp. But when I turned on the corporate media, I got posh people talking about the Stern report, and therefore playing the capitalist game.

And if we're talking death tolls, hunger and preventable disease are far bigger killers, when enough food and medicine is manufactured, but is not in the hands of those who need it. Climate action has the potential to do great things (and I hope to get involved soon myself), but only to the extent it has a working class base.

Neon Black
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Good Work

11.10.2007 18:26

The only sad thing about this action is the response from fellow activist. The point these protesters made was damn right. Its obvious that the people travelling were aware of what was going on as well as being in every newspaper I have read. Domestic Flights are pointless. They are contributing to Global warming. Aviation is the biggest cause of CO2 emissions in the UK and Ireland. This was highlighted.They are the selfish ones taking pointless flights and wrecking our planet.
I was at Climate Camp and the point of it wasnt to belittle activists it was to empower us.Shame on people for putting this action down. The groups in question did this for all the right reasons it obvious.
As for someone saying it wasnt a proper action cause they werent arrested well I ask you to think of Faselane only a few weeks ago. 1000 people arrested over a year and it barely made it into the press and didnt spark any debate.
'We must become the change we wish to see in society'

Kim Johnson

response to Neon Black

11.10.2007 18:56

I dont think you are very well informed. Greenpeace have said that the average income of families who use budget airlines is in excess of 50,000 pounds. Its not about getting at the poor. The poor(I earn minimum wage) for some reason are not using these flights. Also the Aviation industry in this country is heavily subsidised. Aviation fuel isnt taxed.
The average income of a couple in this country is closer to 30,000pounds. Our council tax(manc residents) is paying for the flights we cant afford.
If you have a chip on your shoulder for being poor/working class etc than maybe you should take that out on the people that are robbing you and not on a group of activists who have done you no harm. Maybe its time you expanded your mind and took a look at the bigger picture

rachael lingard


11.10.2007 22:21

Whilst it is true that this action has done no harm to the people criticizing this action it could harm political work done by others. When we take action we need to consider, among other things, the effect our action will have upon our comrades. It was simply an ill thought out action and those of us involved in grass roots political work have a right to criticize it. I admit some of my earlier posts were fueled by my knee jerking in a rather violent manner but the fact remains it was an unsuccessful action. Hopefully the folk involved will take some of the less bile fueled criticism on board. Just doing something is never a justification for an action it has to be taken in the wider context of expanding social struggle and advancing the cause of the class. That cause of course being a world that is fit for all to live in equally free from the tyranny of the state and its agents.


response to rachael lingard

12.10.2007 19:47

I didn't say anywhere that the Manchester activists were getting at the poor. That wasn't my point at all. If they had been doing that, I would have been a lot more angry. Neither do I have a 'chip on my shoulder' about class. I just want to advance the interests of about 95% of the world's population, and I don't believe this kind of action does that. So I criticised it. If some involved are part of that 95%, I hope they will take my comments on board.

Neon Black


13.10.2007 23:22

Nice one boys & girls who did this successful action. Feeds directly into the grass-roots work I'm doing - and supports it - even if it's a different approach.

Fight the good fight

no to tyranny


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