Posted: September 7th, 2016 | Author: George | Filed under: Action | Tags: activism, black lives matter, climate change, direct action | No Comments »
Shutting down London city airport, UK black lives matter struck another blow for citizens who think they can turn their back on inequality in 2016.
Black Lives Matter UK has campaigned on many facets of how racial inequality today still affects the lives of those born into our prejudice society, most renowned for bringing police violence into the public eye. However, breaking onto city airport’s runway and diverting many flights, Black Lives Matter point out that it is more than just the policemen who have something to answer for, whilst jet-setters exercise privilege, someone else will bear the burden of pollution.
Today’s protest highlights the differentiation is not only reflected through societal markers, police violence, employment or educational statistics- the damage is deeper, the poison is in the air. Literally. Communities that suffer the worst pollution are racialized, black people are 28% more likely to suffer air pollution than their white counterparts. The cleanliness of the air should not correlate with the colour of one’s skin. No one is born with a right to a cleaner neighbourhood than the next child; yet the average salary of a city airport user is £92000, whilst at least 40% of the predominantly black residents in Newham, live under the airport’s smoke cloud and struggle by on less than £20000.
The runway has become a symbol of global inequality compounded by climate change, whilst thousands of refugees are dying in the Mediterranean to escape war, the global elite fly overhead. This is an issue of binaries: whilst the average Brit continues to consume 10.92 tonnes of carbon per year, (and rising,) south pacific islands disappear inch by inch beneath the ebb of the ocean. Mountain- top communities are starved away from their cultural homes and traditional pastures due to radical changes in the climate… all the while in London we keep building and developing, not seeing these things as connected.
Expanding airports, at a time when other people’s lives are irreconcilably damaged or cut short due to climate change is senseless. We owe a lot to individuals who put their bodies on the line to highlight global problems. Today these people are the voices of others who cannot speak for themselves. Yet into the future it is not the responsibility of the brave few to show that Black Lives Matter. It is all of ours.
Posted: February 8th, 2010 | Author: George | Filed under: Events, Media, Residents | Tags: community, direct action, Residents | No Comments »
Residents and campaigners against the expansion of Manchester and Heathrow airports have joined forces in a twinning ceremony in a show of solidarity between both communities threatened by airport expansion.
Around 80 people turned out for the launch of the ‘Adopt-a-Resident’ scheme on Hasty Lane which involved campaigners from across Manchester and across the country pledging to support the residents in their battle to save their homes and that if it came to it – to take direct action against the bulldozers trying to demolish their homes.
Peter Johnson and daughter Holly Johnson hosted the event in front of their house. They were joined by Tracy Howard – a resident from Sipson, as well John Stewart, Chair of AirportWatch, and activists from Plane Stupid.
The day also involved a visit to the nearby 300 year old natural pond and home to endangered Great Crested Newts.
SEMA spokesperson Sian Jones said: “The residents aren’t alone in this – climate justice campaigners from across Manchester and the country are backing them all the way.”
Hasty Lane resident Peter Johnson said: “Together with Sipson residents, we are going to fight these irresponsible and unnecessary plans. Our local councillors all opposed the plans, but they were overruled. The council has let us down, but we’re not going to give up that easily.”
Sipson resident Tracy Howard, 35, who made the trip up north for the twinning event said: “The story of Hasty lane is a way too familiar story to ours. Local communities suffering from a big airport that is destroying our homes, our health and the climate. If a 3rd runway at Heathrow is built I face losing my home, my job and my grandmother’s grave will be dug up. This is why I have been adopted by a Plane Stupid activist as there direct action tactics could be all we have left.”
Posted: February 3rd, 2010 | Author: George | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: community, film showing, harmondsworth, open space, peak oil, the end of surburbia, wake up freak out | No Comments »
On a dark, cold and wet February evening underneath the roaring sound of planes taking off from Heathrow airport, about 25 residents huddled around a big screen in Harmondsworth Community centre, Harmondsworth being one of the villages directly threatened by the proposed 3rd runway at Heathrow.
The film showing was organised by campaign group Transition Heathrow who have moved into the village of Harlington to implement plans that look at creating a more sustainable Heathrow that will be equipped to deal with the imminent harsh impacts of climate change and peak oil.
The evening commenced with a short 10 minute animation called Wake Up Freak Out by Plane Stupid’s Leo Murray which delved into the science behind climate change and what a future in 10/20 years time could look like.
After a short break involving lots of cake and tea the audience were shown the film The End Of Surburbia. This film looks at the dwindling supplies of oil and starts to address the concept of peak oil, this concept is very simple – it refers to the idea that the world has a finite reserve of oil and that it is running out. Some believe that global oil production will reach its peak during this decade and then fall forever into a state of decline. Although fairly long and involving lots of interviews, what most engaged everyone in the room was the last 10 minutes of the film which starts to to look at how local communities will be affected and ways in which to tackle these massive issues, at a local level.
Once the film was over everyone gathered in a big group to voice there concerns and ideas for the future. Everyone was keen to discuss these issues and will be looking to facilitate these exciting ideas and plans through Transition Heathrow and other local groups.
Transition Heathrow will be holding a massive ‘open space’ meeting probably on Saturday the 13th March and everyone from the film showing will hopefully be attending along with many more local people. The open space meeting is for anyone that may be interested in looking into and implementing local transition plans on anything from transport and food growing to education, direct action and transition justice.
Posted: December 6th, 2009 | Author: George | Filed under: Media, Residents | Tags: activism, Architect's Awards, Pascall and Watson, Plane Stupid | No Comments »
Plane Stupid activists along with three residents from Heathrow have targeted one of the potential third runway designers at this year’s Architects of the Year Awards held at London’s Intercontinental Hotel. Architect group Pascall and Watson, nominated for Transport Architect of the Year, have been at the forefront of airport expansion since the early 1960′s.
The activists stormed the podium and gave a short speech before offering Pascall and Watson the ‘We don’t give a Shit’ award in recognition of their 50 year aviation portfolio which includes expansion at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham, Manchester, Dublin and Abu Dhabi airports.
Other activists handed out leaflets to the audience. Once the award had been presented the activists left of their own accord.
Tracy Howard, 35 year old mother of two and barmaid at the King William IV pub in Sipson – which will be destroyed if a third runway is allowed to go ahead – said:
“We’re here today to let the architecture world know about the diverse and growing movement against the third runway and airport expansion across the country. Those involved with airport expansion will have to include this growing opposition in their designs and in their budget”.
Joe Ryle, 18, Plane Stupid activist and Heathrow resident said:
“Architects bidding for the third runway contract, or any other new runway, can expect to see a lot more of us. We presented them with the ‘We don’t give a Shit’ award both to recognise their contribution to destroying our homes and to say that trying to build a green airport is like trying to polish a turd.”