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Protesters occupy runway at East Midlands Airport

Notts IMC | 24.09.2006 10:19 | Climate Chaos | Ecology

At 07:55am on 24 September, 2006, a group of protesters 'breached security' at the East Midlands Airport and occupied one of the operational taxi-runways. The 21 activists from Plane Stupid said they "wanted to see airport expansion plans scrapped, a tax on aviation fuel and plane tickets, and an end to short haul flights."

The method of the occupation was chaining themselves to each other, having set up tents saying 'Climate Camp 2'. Baptist minister Malcolm Carroll, who lead a memorial service for the victims of the effects of climate change, also took part in the action. Spokesman of the group, Joss Garman, said: "an estimated 150.000 people die of the effects of climate change each year. That's the equivelant of a 9-11 every week."

At midday, armed police, dog units, firebrigade and helicopter arrived and cleared the runway. 24 people were arrested for 'suspected offences under the Aviation Security Act'. Contrary to what the BBC reported, some flights leaving the airport were delayed.

Various sources have reported that most of the protesters' houses were raided by armed police while in custody. Officers have confiscated clothes, computers, diaries and other personal items, in some cases without giving out receipts for them. Some of the protesters are due in court on Friday 6th October at Loughborough Magistrates Court.

Update: Plane Stupid in court on Friday - solidarity support planned

Other media coverage: Earth First! | This Is London | BBC | Leicestershire police | UK Airport News

Links: Plane Stupid website | East Midlands Airport (EMA) website | Climate Camp 2006 on UK Indymedia

Background Info: Press release of the activists | PLANE STUPID Newsletter #4 | Goverment's Aviation White Paper | 10 Reasons to Ground the Plane… | Airport Environment Federation | Airport Watch | Climate Concern UK | Earth First! (UK) | Rising Tide | Stop Climate Chaos!

Notts IMC


Conspicuous Absence of Mainstream Media Coverage

26.09.2006 09:34

Just out the nick and back home. Full 36 hours while they searched addresses. All charged with Trespass, Public Nuisance and Entering a Restriced Area (Aviation Security Act 1982). Sky cameraman who attended action also arrested and footage confiscated. This is perhaps one of the reasons why we got so little mainstream media coverage - no footage, no story! Four hours of occupation, two and a half of them spent with only three police officers present! Security was embarrassingly bad. It had seemed like a very scary thing to do beforehand but was in fact surprisingly easy. Will do full write up soon, off for a well earned kip now.

Professor Sparrow

Houses Raided

26.09.2006 22:22

I just wanted confirm that most if not all the houses of those arrested were raided or searched and a great deal of trivial artifacts were taken as evidence. Some of this evidence includes people's personal phones, cash cards, rail tickets and lots more and it is not clear how or when they can get any of this stuff back. Many of the police searches failed to leave the receipt of what had been taken in the absence of the occupiers making it difficult to know what is needed back.


Dutch action on runway Schiphol airport

02.10.2006 09:04

Blockade at Schiphol, June 2, 2006
Blockade at Schiphol, June 2, 2006

.... in the Netherlands on June 2 a similar action was held. Activists of Friends of the Earth Netherlands occupied a taxi-runway for several hours, protesting against the expansion of Schiphol airport and the legislation making this posisble.
Pictures are at:
The activists are now convicted to 40 hours of service-duty but are appealing their sentence. The verdict is rather new in the Netherlands because previous comparable actions at Schiphol have mostly resulted in fines or conditional fines only. The judge said that he was taking into account the ' changed situation in society' after the 11 september attack in 2001.

Two years ago, the same group ' adbusted' a mega-wrap advert of British Airways in the city of Amsterdam. The advert says ' London is closer than you think' and the adbust added to this: ' A climate disaster too. Tax on flying now!'.
The pictures are at:


east midlands airport action

02.10.2006 13:19

Following the plane stupid action at East Midlands airport on Sunday 24th September 2006, 25 activists were arrested and detained at a number of police stations around Leicester. A sky reporter was arrested at the scene and his footage of the action was confiscated before it could be broadcast.
9 females were held at Leicester Central, 16 males at Coalville (a disused overspill station normally for football hooligans and asylum seekers) and a sky reporter was held at Loughborough,

The police response was outrageous. Armed police raided a Baptist minister’s house, waking and interrogating his son. This was followed by another raid and more questioning a few hours later. For more see
Many other homes were also raided and equipment and other possessions seized, many of which it seems have no relevance to the incident but have stopped people going about their personal lives. All activists were held for 36 hours with 5 minutes access to the outside ‘exercise’ yard and ‘vegan’ food which contained milk and egg. The police refused anyone their ‘right to one phone call’ throughout the 36 hours under anti-terrorist legislation.

All activists have been charged with aggravated trespass, causing a nuisance to the public and entering a restricted zone with some also charged with criminal damage. Bail conditions include not going within 500m of any uk airport and not to associate with co-defendants. As the females were released into the centre of Leicester, they were told by the releasing officers that their bail conditions applied immediately, they would be released 5 minutes apart and if they were seen communicating would immediately rearrested for breaking their bail conditions. Community safety policing – hmm?

Everyone is bailed to appear at Loughborough Magistrates Court on Friday 6th October 2006 at 9.45am. Please come in solidarity and show your support.


In response to 'wondered?...'

02.10.2006 16:05

They did indeed search peoples houses. During the 36 hours for which they were held the Leistershire constabulary arranged for the houses of nearly everyone involved to be searched. In various cases, where the other residents of the address were out, this involved the local police force literally kicking in the door in order to gain entry. Personal items such as computers, diaries, (and I mean personal diaries, not organisers) and photos (in one case ripped off the wall) were taken. Along with this, the home of the Reverand was raided by armed police under the Terrorism Act!!!! It looks as though the police have decided that they will stop at nothing to rid themselves of us pesky tree huggers.


crack down on planet protectors

03.10.2006 12:24

just to add, not only has some really personal stuff been taken without reciepts, but stuff that was given reciepts was taken when they were trying to get evidence to charge us with conspiracy to cause public nuissance and conspiracy to cause criminal damage, neither of which we were actually charged with. yet so far nothing has been returned.

also, we were let out in the middle of the night having had money, phones and train tickets taken with bail conditions not to speak to each other, miles away from our homes!

bohemian songstress


Display the following 9 comments

  1. well done — Karl
  2. we love you! — bristolian
  3. Arrests — hmm
  4. westside — rach
  5. More of this sort of thing! — Eco-worrier
  6. Absolutely brilliant — Croltbopper
  7. Searching? — Wondering...
  8. Airport actions — pixietrix
  9. Article in the Observer — repost