Letter:Not all protesters are cuddly

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The Independent Online
Sir: In your editorial ("Unearthed: Little Nuggets", 22 May) regarding the trespassers at Manchester Airport's second runway site, I am glad that you recognise that they are wrong, but you must be joking in your portrayal of them as friendly and likeable.

You have clearly not encountered the violent acts they are capable of. Death threats, cars and property sabotaged, intimidation of families, physical violence, bombardment of rescuers with urine and faeces - definitely not cuddly and nice protesters in anyone's estimation.

Of course, there are peaceable people amongst the trespassers encamped at the second runway site, but there are also characters bent on causing damage and injury to people doing their jobs. There is even evidence that reputable ecologists have been threatened and intimidated when they have pointed out the environmental damage caused by the trespassers. Most of the people on the site have no connection with the area. The main effect of their action is to keep unemployed people in the dole queue.

I am disappointed that so many commentators have been conned into supporting the image of the trespassers they most like - as caring, peaceful demonstrators. Unfortunately that image is far from the truth.

It is impossible to subscribe to the view that "you can't help liking them", if you have full knowledge of what actually happens on an eviction site.

GRAHAM STRINGER MP

Chair of the Board

Manchester Airport

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