Activists threaten to close Heathrow

A A A

Activists behind an annual climate change camp today threatened to close down Heathrow in an early sign of direct action aimed at stopping a controversial third runway being built.

Leaders of the annual event will meet later this month to discuss future demonstration, including some which they warned would be aimed at shutting the airport down completely.

The development came as a group calling itself the Climate Suffragettes smashed glass doors at the London offices of the Department for Transport (DfT)in protest at the Government's go-ahead for Heathrow's expansion.

One of the activists behind the annual climate camp pledged: "We will be the spanner in the works of third runway construction."

The group pointed out that at the 2007 camp, which was held near Heathrow, about 2,000 people decided not to shut the airport itself, but target BAA's offices.

"The Heathrow decision makes the option of shutting down the world's busiest airport a potential next step in the escalating campaign to stop the runway being built," said one of the activists.

Sally Wintour, who took part in the 2007 camp, said: "Gordon Brown is prioritising the profit margins of BAA and the aviation industry over the climate and the local community of Sipson.

"We invite anyone in the UK who has lain awake and worried about climate change and their children's future to come down and join us in using direct action to prevent this ecological and social catastrophe from unfolding."

Harry Whittaker, an anti-aviation campaigner, said: "Gordon, BAA and the construction companies had better start factoring in how many more millions it is going to cost to build this runway once they have to deal with the daily consequences of direct action.

"This decision flies in the face of popular opinion, and if the political channels to stop it have been unsuccessful, it's important that people use direct action to prevent this climate disaster."

A so-called "flashmob" will be held at Heathrow at midday tomorrow by a range of anti-aviation expansion groups and more action is being planned.

The Climate Suffragettes said three women wearing red sashes hurled bricks at the doors of DfT's Westminster building at 4am.

The bricks were wrapped in notes that read: "No third runway, the Suffra-jets are back," they said.

They also said they had hurled green paint "to symbolise the greenwash they heard from the Government".

A spokeswoman for the group, which compares itself with the 20th century campaigners for votes for women, said: "The Government has opened the floodgates for radical action."

Conservative leader David Cameron today issued a clear warning to industry not to invest money and energy in the proposed third runway at Heathrow, as he reaffirmed his party's commitment to scrap the project if it won power.

Some observers have suggested that the green light given by Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon yesterday represented a guarantee that it would go ahead, as the scheme would be too far advanced by the time of the next election for an incoming Tory administration to halt it.

But Mr Cameron today flatly rejected this assumption, stating: "The third runway is just not going to happen."

In an interview with The Guardian, he insisted that he did not believe that a Tory Government would be required to pay compensation if it scrapped the scheme.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager - OTE £40,000

£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Contracts / Sales Administrator

£19500 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Knowledge of and ability to use...

Recruitment Genius: Mobile Engineer - Powered Access

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They pride themselves that they...

Recruitment Genius: Pharmacy Branch Manager

£19000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This pharmacy group are looking...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence