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: September 1st, 2014 | Author: Joe | Filed under: legal | Tags: activism, police, protest, sipson, Squatting | No Comments »
We have set up a phone tree in case of the bailiffs coming back and carrying out an eviction.
If you would like to be added to the Grow Heathrow eviction phone tree to receive texts and updates if an eviction is taking place then please send your mobile number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do not text the site phone your number as the site phone is down. Sincerely sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
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: Sam | Filed under: Events, Foraging | Tags: food, sipson, wild food | No Comments »
The highlight of our foraging year.
If Grow Heathrow hasn’t been evicted, we’re going to bottle loads of blackberries. Bring clean empty jars and you will earn respect, win honour and know true righteousness. It’ll be the tail end but we should get lots of juicy buckets. You can taste some of last year’s (they’re great) and take some of this year’s jars home so you can fish for compliments from your family.
If we have been evicted, we’ll just go and eat blackberries. To be honest it might turn into just eating blackberries either way. See you there!
Posted: July 22nd, 2014 | Author: Freddy | Filed under: Events, legal, Residents | Tags: access to land, sipson | No Comments »
On Friday 15th August at 8am, bailiffs will make their first attempt to evict Grow Heathrow. Four and a half years after the abandoned greenhouses in the middle of Heathrow Airport’s proposed third runway were occupied by local residents together with activists, Heathrow villagers are organising again to resist airport expansion that’s ruled out by climate science.
Residents of the 700+ homes a third runway would destroy have asked to be trained to protect their own homes. On Thursday 14th, the day before the bailiffs visit, there will be talks and workshops on how to peacefully resist the eviction and on how ordinary people successfully shelved plans for a noisy third runway. At 8am on Friday 15th, hopefully you can help protect our home from the County Court bailiffs, ready to do the same for other homes threatened by airport expansion. Grow Heathrow has been described as the ‘heart of the village’ by BBC News and ‘inspirational’ by the local MP. We are still trying to buy the land instead of having bailiffs at our home.
We need your support in the days before, on the 15th and in the months after the bailiffs come. Join us for dinner on the 14th and be on site for when they arrive. Bring a sleeping bag, tent and rollmat if you’re coming to stay, cameras or smartphones for filming/livestreaming the bailiffs and we can always use more tea, coffee, milk, sugar and mugs! We currently also have some space for new members, so if growing food and campaigning on airport expansion are your cup of tea come and find out more about how you can volunteer here long-term. Summer in the glasshouses is green and glorious with a lake down the road.
If you have any special requirements, just drop us an email and we’ll do our best to make you comfortable. If and when the bailiffs go home, there’ll be a coach heading to to the Reclaim the Power action helping protect Blackpool from fracking. (donations welcome).
Posted: June 10th, 2014 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Foraging | Tags: access to land, sipson, wild food | No Comments »
Yep, it’s that time of year again. The field by the old garden centre is full of red clover, and the rotting greenhouse frames are burping up sprays of elderflowers.
We’re gonna make some elderflower cordial. Be there. If you remember, grab a couple of clean empty jars or small glass bottles.
Posted: April 30th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Growing Group | Tags: access to land, community, food, garden, growing, Residents, sipson, sustainability, transition | No Comments »
Parsley, Sage and Chives, fresh from the Grow Heathrow meadow, given in away in the local post office on a donations basis.
Move to Heathrow?
Posted: March 20th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Events | Tags: access to land, activism, birthday, climate change, community, direct action, resistance, sipson, Squatting, sustainability, transition | No Comments »
Credits to Community Food Growers Network for this report and photos Grow Heathrow, the squatted community garden by Heathrow airport, celebrated it’s 4th Birthday on Saturday the 1st of March. People came from Bristol, Cambridge and France to kick off the celebrations with ‘Three Acres and a Cow’ on the Friday evening- a people’s history of Britain through folk songs, stories and poems connecting The Norman Conquest and Peasants’ Revolt with the 80′s road protests and Occupy via the enclosures and Highland Clearances. Over 50 folk sat down for a hot skipped meal to watch the show which included performances from ‘Crazy Dvine’, Mark Brown, storyteller Nick Hunt, and Keely Mills who is Poet Laurette for Peterborough. Saturday morning arrived and saw 150 people pass through the gates for site tours, cob-oven pizzas, seed sowing and sunshine. The highlight of the day was definitely the Cake competition which saw the site turn into a kind of amphitheater arena with the audience finding viewing points on piles of logs, the cabin and whatever else they could find! Cakes were followed by some top speeches from local campaigner Tracey, John McDonnell MP, Grow Heathrower Sam and supporters of the project. As the blight of the Heathrow Third Runway still threatens the village of Sipson, and the Con-Dem government continues its mania of austerity cuts, it was once again inspiring to see Grow Heathrow thriving- putting politics into practice and building community power in the face of economic, ecological and democratic crises. To find out more about Grow Heathrow visit www.transitionheathrow.com And to learnt about storyteller Nick Hunt’s new book ‘Walking the Woods and the Water’ see http://nickhuntscrutiny.com/ Music from 3 Acres and a Cow at https://soundcloud.com/crazydivine Credits to Community Food Growers Network for blog and photos
Posted: January 10th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: legal | Tags: access to land, activism, court, justice, occupy, sipson, Squatting | No Comments »
After all these years Grow Heathrow have finally come to the end of our legal battle!!
We were not able to take the appeal to the supreme court, as the case was not awarded legal aid, by a body that is being cut heavily by this government. Read more about cuts to legal aid here: http://www.savelegalaid.co.uk/
However, the case has set a positive precedent in housing law that will be able to be used in future cases on evictions for both squatters and exploited tenants. The last appeal heard at the High Court was the first case of it’s type where article 8, the Human Rights Act, was ever deemed to be relevant. Big news in a time where squatting is being criminalized in the middle of a housing crises.
Where does that leave us?
Basically in a similar place to where we were before. Grow Heathrow is still under possible threat, much like the last 4 years, but business as usual continues. The Wind Turbine is still soaring, the Chard is still growing and the compost loo’s are still being stirred!
Mainly we are still trying to create negotiations with the land owners to ultimately and ideally secure the site. With the 3rd runway back on the cards, we are not going anywhere. Watch this space…