Posted: December 5th, 2014 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Action | Tags: activism, consultation, Plane Stupid, protest, sipson | No Comments »
This Wednesday the Heathrow Park Inn Hotel hosted the Airports Commission’s most recent public consultation on the proposed plans for expanding Heathrow Airport. Local MPs, councillors, campaigners and businessmen gave speeches expressing a range of views regarding the plans, some in support of an expansion and others in vehement opposition.
Headed by Sir Howard Davis, the Airports Commission has been charged with identifying the best course of action for dealing with Britain’s supposed need for a hub airport to compete with other European airports. The panel was presented with the two proposals relevant to this area: a proposal from Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) for a third runway to the northwest of the airport, and independent promoter Heathrow Hub’s rival proposal to lengthen the North runway. These sit alongside a third option to expand Gatwick, due for public consultation later this month.
The panel listened as local MPs John McDonnell and Zac Goldsmith drew attention to the huge scale of the affect an expansion would have on people living in West London. An estimated 4000 homes would be either demolished or rendered unliveable, leading to the break-up of local communities, and hundreds of thousands of people more would be directly affected by greater noise levels and pollution.
HAL CEO John Holland-Kaye’s many promises of fairly mitigating the harms that future generations will face from an expanded Heathrow airport were brought into doubt by Christine Taylor of Stop Heathrow Expansion, who drew attention to HAL’s statement from the Terminal 5 inquiry in 1999 that a third runway should be “ruled out forever”. Moreover, HAL has consistently failed to address the problem of air quality despite pollution levels being higher than EU regulations. The assumptions behind their advertising campaigns’ assurance that Heathrow’s expansion would boost Britain’s economy by £100 billion have been seriously questioned in an independent report by Prime Economics.
Last week an article in the Sunday Times accused the interest group Back Heathrow of “astroturfing”, feigning to be a grassroots residents organisation representing local people yet funded in the £100,000s by Heathrow. Gatwick Airport’s chairman, Sir Roy McNulty, has accused the group of scaremongering by suggesting in a questionnaire distributed to 750,000 households that without expansion Heathrow would close, as reported on Wednesday in both The Guardian and The Telegraph. In the commission hearing Zac Goldsmith also commented on HAL’s smear campaign against councillor Ray Puddifoot, accusing Heathrow of funding a campaign to undermine the democratic process. When asked by John McDonnell if Heathrow would cease funding of Back Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye avoided giving a definitive answer.
During the consultation climate change was low on the agenda, with only one mention that carbon emissions were relevant to the discussion. The UK Climate Change Act requires legally binding reductions in greenhouse gases, yet increasing air traffic will seriously undermine the aviation industry’s commitment to this goal. In a desire to stimulate debate about the true viability of airport expansion, two environmental activists from Plane Stupid held up a banner from the hotel entrance canopy that read ‘Any new runway is Plane Stupid’, as reported in the local Uxbridge Gazette.
Posted: August 29th, 2014 | Author: Joe | Filed under: Action, Film, legal | Tags: bailiffs, change, climate, eviction, food, grow heathrow, resistance, sipson, third runway | No Comments »
Grow Heathrow: Resisting Eviction from Sean Richard on Vimeo.
Nearly five years later the group has cleared 30 tonnes of rubbish and runs a popular community space called Grow Heathrow with a bicycle workshop, food-growing club, renewable energy courses, and an art space.
On Friday the 15th of August, after a three year court battle, bailiffs arrived for the first time to evict the group and were met with nearly 200 people supporting Grow Heathrow to continue the project.
The bailiffs will be returning soon and the members of community garden are preparing with various resistance tactics. The group are trying to negotiate with the owner to buy the land with the support of John McDonnell MP and the Sipson Resident’s Association.
To follow their story see:
Video by film-maker Sean Richard
Posted: August 15th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Action, legal | Tags: activism, climate change, community, direct action, resistance, sipson, Squatting, sustainability, transition | 1 Comment »
WE DID IT, TOGETHER WE RESISTED AN EVICTION TODAY!
everyone who helped resist the eviction at Grow Heathrow, the chefs, live band, bike powered smoothie makers, seed sowers, climbers, people locked on, Jonathan Goldberg for photos, organisers and more…
Unfortunately this is not the end…
The Bailiffs may return any day without warning…
to try and evict Grow Heathrow once more… we will need to come together again for this…Email us your phone number if you want to be part of the phone tree or join the mailing list on the website:
Come down and visit, stay and help the site run
Check out some of the national news stories from today:
BBC, Guardian, London Live, Get West London, and more…
Posted: August 11th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Action | Tags: activism, community, resistance | No Comments »
How Can You Help???
Spread the word
Tell the story, we are the media.
Also retweet/facebook/spread the flyers etc
Donate button on the website, and wishlist incase you prefer to donate in non-monetary forms.
Join the photo campaign
Add a photo of yourself and send it in!
Find a role
We always need more people helping with media, bike mechanics, maintaining the plants etc
We’ve got our talks, workshop and music confirmed for this Thursday 14th / Friday 15th August. It all kicks off at 12 noon on Thursday. See you there!
Posted: August 11th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Action, Uncategorized | Tags: activism, community, resistance | No Comments »
Any changes to the timetable will be updated on the website
Thursday 14th August
12pm Introductions / Grow Heathrow Q&A
1pm Lunch Break
2pm Guided tour of Grow Heathrow
3pm HACAN talk and Q&A with John Stewart: How local resistance beats airport expansion
4pm NOTRAG talk and Q&A: The Heathrow villages fighting the 3rd runway, plus plans for the future.
5pm Wellbeing session
6pm Guided tour of Grow Heathrow
7pm Know Your Rights training
9pm Live music
Friday 15th August:
*********** 8am Bailiffs Arrive ************
8am Onwards – General activities on site and outside the gate including: General resistance, music making, smoothie bicycle, wellbeing and more
If you want to help out with making the day run in any way, please let us know (examples include cooking meals, leading games, music sessions, improving the hot water system, bringing workshops etc)
Posted: June 17th, 2014 | Author: Lizzie | Filed under: Action, Energy, Events | Tags: activism, climate change, direct action, fracking, no dash for gas, peak oil | No Comments »
Dates for your diary: get involved to stop fracking in the UK
19 – 20 July, Nottingham: Build the site!
Making radical spaces happen from the ground up is a big job, but it needn’t be a mystery. So we are dedicating part of this gathering to site training! There will be something for everyone, with all levels of knowledge and mobility.
More details at nodashforgas.org.uk, @nodashforgas and on Facebook
14-20 August, Location TBA: Action camp
Take on the frackers! The action camp will be at a fracking site and to keep the industry in suspense, the exact location and travel information will be revealed near the time. Hunt the Facebook event page for clues as they are revealed…
*Support the community fightback
*Get skilled up and take direct action
*Build the world you want to see
- This year the target is fracking – a form of ‘extreme energy’ that threatens our human rights to a safe climate, clean water and a healthy local environment.
- New fracking sites are being opened across the country every month. Up to 60% of England is under threat
- Reclaim the Power will support a community on the frontline fighting fracking and join the dots between climate, social and economic justice
- Alternatives exist here and now – we could create a million climate jobs, reduce energy demand and convert to community and publicly owned renewables
- We need to reclaim OUR power. The government wants to drill under our homes, keep us hooked on fossil fuels and keep our energy in private, profiteering hands.
- Meanwhile, climate change is getting worse, fuel poverty is killing people and economic and social crises are hitting us harder every day
- We can stop this. We can stop fracking and build a democratic and clean energy system that works for us. The UK has a long history of civil disobedience, from the suffragettes to the disability rights movements.
- We’ll share skills, meet friends, participate in workshops and take mass civil disobedience.
Get involved and get inspired – let’s take on the frackers and win!
Action camp on Facebook
We CAN stop fracking in the UK!
Posted: March 24th, 2014 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Action | Tags: farmers, nantes, police, resistance, zad | No Comments »
A huge protest took place in Nantes on 22nd February, against the planned new replacement airport to be built at Notre Dame des Landes, some miles to the north. The organisers estimated some 50,000 protesters, who came in from supportive groups from regions all across France. There are reported to have been 65 coach loads of protesters who travelled to Nantes to take part, and 520 tractors, brought by supportive farmers from surrounding areas. The protests were put down with considerable force by the police, using water canon, rubber bullets and tear gas.
The full report is at Airport Watch, including an article from Le Monde, video of police response, and a blog from John Stewart of HACAN about the origins of the resistance to the airport.
John Stewart’s blog from 24 February begins:
In a blog about the huge demonstration, part of which turned in to rioting, at Nantes against the proposed new airport, John Stewart looks at how this protest came about – and its relevance to other large infrastructure projects in Europe. The Nantes protest organisers say as many as 50,000 people attended, from supportive protest committees from areas across France. The politics of this airport project have taken on national interest and significance, and also linked into opposition to “Les Grands Projets Inutiles Imposes” (useless, imposed mega-projects). The people passionately fighting plans for a new airport in unspoiled French farming countryside are linked to those opposing HS2 and other schemes like a high-speed rail in Northern Italy and cyanide-mined gold extraction project in Romania. All these projects have managed to get support from very disparate sections of society. They all have real doubts about the economics or the necessity of the project; also they have land, homes, countryside or communities to defend; there is significant local opposition; and they also attract in outside opposition, from people with a variety of perspective as well as environmental.
Posted: December 16th, 2013 | Author: Holly | Filed under: Action | Tags: no dash for gas | 1 Comment »
This morning fifty pro-renewables campaigners delivered a 17 metre, 1.5 tonne wind turbine blade as “Christmas gift” for fracking company IGas. The entrance to the Barton Moss test site has been blocked, to prevent drilling vehicles from entering.
At 5.30 this morning (Monday 16th December 2013), fifty people blocked the entrance to IGas’s exploratory drilling site in Barton Moss with a giant wind turbine blade. The campaigners arrived at the site in Salford in Greater Manchester, proceeded to unload and assemble the 17-metre blade from its three component segments. They were spotted by a security guard who called the police, but the officers who arrived on the scene were too late to prevent the blockade from being set up.
The campaigners then left, leaving the heavy wind turbine blade in place across the entrance, complete with a large red Christmas bow. Currently all vehicle access the site is being severly disrupted by the 1.5-tonne blade, which cannot be moved without large numbers of people or specialist equipment.
IGas have obtained permission to drill a 3000 metre (10000 foot) test well at Barton Moss, in the hope of extracting both coal bed methane and shale gas. If the tests prove successful, IGas would then be likely to use the controversial extraction method of horizontal slickwater hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) to blast gas out of the ground. In the US, where fracking has been underway for several years, the practice has been linked to water contamination, air pollution, and risks to local water supplies, with over 1000 leaks and spills reported in one year in North Dakota alone. If fracking were to spread across the UK, it would lead to the extraction of large amounts of oil and gas that would otherwise have remained in the ground, with serious consequences for the climate .
The fracking industry itself has admitted that the practice is unlikely to bring down energy bills , and economist Nicholas Stern has accused the Government of “baseless economics” for claiming otherwise. Meanwhile, the Government’s own Committee on Climate Change has released a report showing that a shift away from fossil fuels to renewables and energy efficiency could save the UK public £85 billion per year .
Following a summer of high-profile anti-fracking protests at Balcombe in West Sussex, which ended when the drilling company Cuadrilla withdrew its fracking application, Barton Moss is now widely seen as the new frontline in the battle for clean energy in the UK, and in November 2013 a “Barton Moss Protection Camp” was set up at the site. Actions are frequently launched from the camp to disrupt drilling activities at the site, and at least ten people, including local residents, have been arrested in the last few weeks. This year’s anti-fracking protests seem to have shifted public opinion; according to national polling by the University of Nottingham, support for fracking dropped significantly after the summer protests at Balcombe.
Today’s action was carried out by a group of people from all over the UK who had been inspired by the Reclaim The Power protest camp at Balcombe earlier this year. Sandra Denton, who was one of the people who put the blade in place, said: “We’ve delivered this early Christmas gift to IGas to remind them that we don’t need damaging, risky and polluting energy sources like oil and gas to power the UK. The Government and the big energy companies are planning to build a new wave of gas-fired power stations, partly fed by thousands of fracking wells across the British countryside. This would lock us into using this expensive and dirty fossil fuel for decades to come, trapping us in a future of spiralling energy prices and disastrous floods, storms and droughts as climate change kicks in. Meanwhile, a shift to properly insulated homes powered by clean, community-owned or publicly-controlled renewable energy would rescue millions from fuel poverty, prevent thousands of winter deaths and give us all a decent chance at avoiding runaway climate change.”
Rachel Thompson of Frack Free Greater Manchester, a separate local group who are campaigning against fracking in the area, said: “The Government’s plan to increase our reliance on gas – including fracked gas – would lead to higher energy bills and more pollution. The only reason they’re going down this path is because of the power and influence of the big energy companies. The Big Six can make far bigger profits from fossil fuels than from clean energy or home insulation schemes, which is why they’re using their cosy relationship with Government to block renewable alternatives and keep us all burning their expensive gas. That’s why we all need to stand up for a fairer, cleaner, more democratic energy system without the Big Six profiteers in charge.”
Pearl Hopkins, a local resident, said, “I didn’t know today’s action was going to happen but I’m very glad it did. It’s great that people are coming from all over the country to support us at Barton Moss – and with creative blockades like this one. Local people have tried using all the official channels to object to this scheme, but the Council and IGas seem determined to brush our concerns under the carpet and carry on regardless. We’d like renewable energy for the future – not the destruction of our towns and countryside with thousands of drill sites.”
More information on what’s going on can be found on The Northern Gas Gala website.
Posted: November 18th, 2013 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Action | Tags: balcombe, barton moss, climate change, energy, fracking, occupy, protest | No Comments »
A lot changes in a few decades. I wonder what those 60s activists saving the whale would think of us now, as thousands of people across the UK sign up for text alerts so that they can pitch up a tent near Manchester to stop fracking. They’ll have to accept that activism’s moved on. Marine mammals have got to try a bit harder or they’ll be forgotten to the 21st century’s totally new narrative. It’s 2013. We’ve got to save the shale.
Welcome to the Northern Gas Gala.
24 hours after first major activity begins at IGas’ Barton Moss site, people will be converging for The Northern Gas Gala. All are warmly invited to join residents in a show of front-line protection against those that threaten us and our environment. Stay informed by signing up at northerngasgala.org.uk, to ensure you receive an invitation to this most poignant of parties.
All those signed-up at northerngasgala.org.uk will, when the Gala beckons, receive a text message with a start time.
WARMING! The arctic is melting. Frack less. Fly less.
Posted: October 27th, 2013 | Author: Joe | Filed under: Action, Events, Media | Tags: Hayes, save botwell common | No Comments »
A piece of common land is set to be developed on, which could set a widespread dangerous precedent. Please come and show support to help save Botwell Common and help protect our green belt land across the country.
A public protest has been planned on Saturday 2nd of November at 12 noon. The meeting point is at the bandstand in Hayes Town centre, next to Botwell Common.
Hillingdon Council, despite widespread opposition, submitted a plan to build a new school on Lake Farm Country Park (Botwell Common), which was approved at a stormy meeting at the council’s planning committee on 5 March 2013.
The council’s justification for building a new school comes from projected estimates of pupil numbers for the next few years. There are three other schools nearby which may be able to increase capacity to handle the expected rise. A former alternative site for a new school (a decommissioned swimming pool) was developed as housing.
John Mcdonnell, MP for Hayes & Harlington is urging people to come together in this crucial time. Resistance to the development of greenbelt land is supported by groups such as ‘Friends of Lake Farm’ and ‘Transition Heathrow’.
See you all at Hayes bandstand, on Saturday 2nd of November at 12 noon.