Tunnel Trio in court on Tuesday 19th April
A message from The Tunnel Trio:
Back in November we blocked the main inbound tunnel leading to Heathrow airport. We parked our van across the lanes and locked ourselves to it. We would like to take this opportunity to explain our actions.
The building of a third runway at Heathrow has been discussed in Parliament multiple times now. Its purpose would be to meet the demands of the 15% of people who take 70% of flights in the UK. It is leisure flights, not business flights, that are on the rise and the people taking those flights have a high income. While the huge business entity that is Heathrow spends tens of millions advertising its plans for expansion, the locals whose lives will be entirely uprooted struggle to make their voices heard. This is an issue of class: a familiar story of a rich and powerful elite trampling over the livelihoods of those lacking the power to resist.
Further afield, it is those people previously colonised and exploited by more ‘developed’ nations that are suffering the effects of climate change most severely, and who lack the resources to respond effectively to the crisis. The aviation industry is the fastest-growing source of climate pollution, and if we are to tackle the climate crisis, airport expansion should be out of the question. Because the building of a new runway will threaten the aims of the 2008 Climate Change Act, expansion plans have been deemed by the High Court as ‘untenable in law and common sense.’
Further to this, air pollution levels in the UK are on the rise, and pose a huge threat to public health. The day we locked on to our van to block the tunnel, the building of another runway was debated again in Parliament. Our action raised awareness of the threats to the global environment, local communities, and public health posed by a new runway. Every mainstream newspaper outlet that day published a story about the Parliamentary debate, and alongside it were photos of the roadblock and our “No New Runways” banner. Just days after our action, it was announced that the decision had been pushed back. It is scheduled to be debated again in the summer.
Acts of resistance are far more effective when they have the support of the public. At 10am on Tuesday 19th april at Uxbridge Magistrates Court we will be on trial, pleading guilty to and being sentenced for a charge of Obstructing the Highway. Meet outside at 9am. It is likely to last around a couple of hours. Please come along to stand in solidarity with all of those battling the violations that airport expansion poses.
Uxbridge Magistrates Court
The Court House
Yours with hope and solidarity,
The Tunnel Trio