"Terminal Five protesters climb crane
Police are trying to talk down protesters who have climbed a crane at Heathrow Airport's Terminal Five building site.
The demonstrators, believed to be campaigning against increasing air travel, entered the site at around 7.15am.
British Airports Authority, which runs Heathrow, condemned their actions as completely irresponsible.
A BAA spokeswoman said: "Eight people gained access to the Terminal Five construction site and are understood to be protesting against proposals regarding the expansion of the airline industry.
"Police are at the scene. The protesters occupied a single crane located at the perimeter of the airport. A small number of workers have been deployed elsewhere on the site."
There are 22 cranes on the site of the £3.7 billion Terminal Five project, which is around a quarter completed.
Residents and environmentalists have been threatening to mount a direct action campaign in protest at plans to expand airports in south east England.
A group of local residents and anti-airport expansionists called Hounslow Against New Terminals said it was responsible for the protest. It said seven people had climbed the crane.
An activist who gave his name as Colin said: "We are occupying this crane indefinitely because if BAA gets its way, our community will pay with the loss of our homes, schools and health. We are sick of corporate greed bulldozing the needs of our population."
Story filed: 14:29 Monday 6th October 2003"
"Protesters climb crane at Heathrow Oct 6 2003
FROM LAST MONTH...
Airport civil disobedience plans
Marches and meetings could be replaced by road blockades
Anti-airport campaigners are threatening to carry out a campaign of civil disobedience.
Protests against government plans to expand Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted have so far involved meetings and marches.
But now campaigners are linking up with environmental group Rising Tide for more direct action.
They are threatening to block access roads and construction sites.
The government is due to release plans for new runways at the airports by the end of this year.
Protesters are upset that airport expansion will lead to increased noise levels, loss of land for housing and agriculture and the demolition of historic areas.
But supporters of the schemes say the UK economy will suffer if airports do not expand.
Possible targets of direct action include airport access roads and Heathrow's terminal five project.
The protests would mirror those held against road building in the 1990s.
Campaigners then tried to block construction of the M3 through Twyford Down, the Newbury bypass and M11 link road in London.
Though direct action ultimately failed to stop those projects, it did help swing public opinion firmly against big road building programmes, BBC transport correspondent Simon Montague said.