Friday 15 January 2016

The Green Party will support Plane Stupid activists at Willesden Magistrates' Court on Monday

 Image from Zed Books LINK

The 13 members of activist group Plane Stupid accused of "aggravated trespass" during a protest at Heathrow Airport in July last year have the full support of the Green Party of England and Wales.

The trial of the activists, who occupied the northern runway of Heathrow, begins at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Monday January 18th. Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party, Dr Shahrar Ali, Deputy Leader of the Green Party, and Sian Berry, Green Party candidate for Mayor of London, will all attend a demonstration outside the court to underline the Party’s solidarity with the non-violent climate activists.

Speaking ahead of the trial, Natalie Bennett said:

Our party applauds the determination of the Heathrow 13. We stand up for the activists just as they are standing up for our planet.

Bigger airports make no climate sense. The UK cannot make its contribution to cutting carbon emissions whilst expanding its airports and increasing emissions from aviation.

If this government is in any way serious about delivering climate-sensitive policies then airport expansion plans must be immediately shelved and other measures - including encouraging short-haul flight passengers on to existing rail services and introducing a frequent flyer tax - must be explored.
Shahrar Ali, a long-time supporter of the activists and a Green Party candidiate on the GLA List said:

We stand in solidarity with the activists who, like the Green Party, recognise that urgent action is needed to protect us all from the threat of climate change. Endless growth of our aviation capacity is incompatible with the UK meeting its climate change commitments. 
If airport expansion gets the go-ahead at Heathrow, local residents will suffer enormously from increasing noise and air pollution, the ‘silent killer’ of thousands of Londoners each year.”
London has already breached annual pollution limits for 2016 LINK. A report commissioned by Mayor Boris Johnson last year found that nearly 9,500 people die prematurely each year because of the capital’s dirty air LINK.

The demonstration starts at 9am.

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