After Terminal 1 Picnic, a Year of Direct Action

Article excerpt

Byline: Anna Davis

CLIMATE-change activists today warned of a year-long campaign of direct action after staging a sit-down protest at Heathrow airport.

About 250 protesters dressed in Edwardian costumes gathered at Terminal 1 to demonstrate against the proposed third runway last night.

More than 300 police were drafted in to deal with the protest, which forced BAA to close 18 check-in desks.

The protesters staged a mass picnic in opposition to the Heathrow expansion plans to the music of a string quartet.

The activists, who were joined by villagers from Sipson which will be destroyed if the third runway goes ahead played party games, cheered and threw hats in the air while chanting "no third runway".

Former Page Three girl turned activist Marina Pepper, 41, who dressed as a suffragette for the event, said: "This is a peaceful protest over an incredibly serious issue and it is important we keep the moral high ground." Tamsin Omond from Climate Rush, which organised the event, said more protests are being planned.

Referring to a climate conference due to take place in Denmark in December, she said: "There will be another one.

There will be one mass action a month until Copenhagen. We will do it completely openly and we will announce it. It is important to keep showing Gordon Brown and the Government that if an event is provided huge numbers will come down, even if they are worried they will be breaking the law, until he gives us political leadership on climate change.

"People can feel safe that they are peaceful, even if they sit on the edge between legal and illegal. As long as we stay peaceful we will have huge numbers." She promised that the next event would "capture the public imagination".

Climate Rush spokesman Neil Page used a megaphone to tell the crowds at the protest to check online for details of the next demonstration. …

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