Refuelling for airport protesters

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The Independent Online
Jubilant protesters on the site of Manchester Airport's proposed pounds 172m second runway say they are equipped to resist eviction for several more weeks following an audacious resupply operation carried out under cover of darkness yesterday.

Security officials policing the fenced-in site were caught unawares by a group of campaigners who sailed through defences and into the camp by using dinghies and canoes on the River Bollin.

The opposing sides in the dispute disagreed about the effectiveness of the operation last night, but it was clear from protesters living in tree- houses that they had received fresh supplies of food, water, medical items and batteries to power mobile telephones and CB radios.

Credit for the raid was claimed by an organisation calling itself the Sea Sabs Marine Conservation Group. Three of the seven camps have now been cleared of protesters. According to the under-sheriff's spokesman, Randal Hibbert, about 35-40 protesters remained on site. The protesters put the figure at up to 150.

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