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Plane Stupid's Day of Action

imcista | 05.11.2006 15:38 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | London | Sheffield

Co-ordinated actions under the banner of Plane Stupid - including the occupation of Easyjet's London headquarters - took place today as part of a national campaign against short haul flights. Conceived at this summer's highly successful Climate Camp and enabled by the formation of affinity groups in Sheffield, Cambridge, Manchester, Southampton and London, it follows on from the occupation of East Midlands Airport, dubbed Climate Camp 2 in September.

Travel agents closed: London and pictures | Bristol | Manchester | Cambridge | Reading
Other Actions : Easyjet HQ occupation | Leeds/Bradford airport protest | London Rising Tide invade CAA | Day of action in Manchester
Background Information : Climate Camps 1,2&3 | Plane Stupid website | Blair's speech at launch of Stern review

Today's actions were part of an ongoing and accelerating drive to force the government to stop talking and start acting. Encouragement for this came from George Monbiot, speaking at Saturday's Climate March where he called for an "everyday campaign of direct action, every day until the year 2030", until carbon emissions are cut by 90%.

45% of all flights within Europe are less than 500km in length: the distance from London to the Scottish border.

And since the aviation industry pays no tax on fuel or VAT on transactions it allows airline companies to sell tickets for one fifth of the equivalent peak rail fare - pushing people onto the planes when less destructive means of transport are available. Subsidies - that is free money given to the airlines by you and me - are now running at nine billion pounds a year.

Clearly this gives the lie to the Government's claim to be putting climate change at the very top of the agenda.



Short haul flights are a perk for the rich

07.11.2006 19:41

75% of flights in the UK are taken by people in social groups ABC. 11% of the population takes 50% of the flights, and the bottom 25% only take 6%.

The average income of a Stansted user is £47,000 - and that's a 'budget airport'!

Plane Stupid
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Hide the following 32 comments


07.11.2006 11:44

Judging by the amount of posts coming from one "Helios Stelios" and related persons up so fast, it seems to me that someone within this industry has been seriously rattled and is attempting to troll against the actions.

Ignore this idiot and keep up the fantastic actions.

Remember folks taking part in "Plane Stupid" is open to everyone - just get out there and do it! See ya all on indymedia reports soon.


Very good...but

07.11.2006 16:27

Surely your time would be better spent campaigning against people who travel in first class, long-haul, a lot of the time (i.e businessmen). short haul/cheap is just an easy target, and easy for the political class to stop - they don't get affected.

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Class analysis of climate change?

07.11.2006 17:38

A similar class issue applies to demands of No-M1 Widening Allience whose call for increased cost of motoring and pay-as-you road pricing will not affect richer people (plus road pricing demand goes hand-in-hand with police wanting more extensive surveillence technologies for motor vehicles):

Who are the real problem here? Lets have some debate about this.

not a number


08.11.2006 14:04

my folks live in france and my mum is ill and sometimes i have to go back in an emergency and i cant afford the train and often there is no time. so what am i meant to do?


Class analysis?

09.11.2006 11:02

I think that the idea of justifying short-haul flights simply because poor people are able to afford them is pretty flawed. Basically, either we stop short haul flights real soon, or the world cooks. That's all there is to it; and no exceptions should be made, not even for sick mums (much as it pains me to say that, knowing what it's like to have a sick mum).

The element of class analysis here is that the rich are the most rarely affected by climate change, as they can buy homes in safe areas, extra heating, air conditioning, whatever. Climate Change is a class phenomenon not because ending short-haul flights will end cheap holidays for the less-well off, but because climate change will hit the poor dispropotionately hard. Therefore it's the poor who have to fight to force the rich bastards who own the means of production to curb their emissions.

Ground all flights

Plane Stupid: how dumb can this lot get?

10.11.2006 10:06

Plane Stupid activists have got to take the title of being the dumbest environmental organisation on the planet - man... these people are clear leaders in that department.

For a start, I can't believe someone actually posted photographic evidence of their stupidity - did no-one notice that (1) EasyJet headquaters is in Luton, NOT London, and (2) these plain stupid activists are not standing outside Easy Jet HQ - as you can plainly see, that is the easyGroup building which is in charge of cinema's, buses, pizza's, music, mobile phones and cruises - NOT aeroplanes.

Courtney Hamilton
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10.11.2006 12:30

EasyGroup is a holding company that owns and co-ordinates ALL easy brand companies. So they have direct control over easyJet. Any one of the easy group companies would be a target of this sort of protest.


easygroup and easyjet

10.11.2006 12:32

EasyGroup is the parent of EasyJet and the ones ultimately the ones pulling the strings - that makes them a far better target than the Luton site.

Me'thinks that much of this moaning is coming from guilt-trippers not prepared to give up their flying and change their lifestyle. Moan moan moan - rather you all fucked off and did something useful, or perhaps another pointless and ineffectual march around London is more your style. Makes you feel good but makes no demands of you.

More actions on airlines and airports whoever and whatever they are.


Plane Stupid is no alternative

10.11.2006 14:48

Ok.. you seem to have all the answers - so, how do you expect, let's say, my family to travel back and forth from London to Dublin? Walk? Train and a ferry? How?

Cheap air travel has meant millions of people can see their relatives more often during their lives - it means millions can actually go to new places and seek out new horizons and meet new people. But what do you care? You'd rather put the 'happiness' of a tree, or a bug, before the happiness of a human being.

So come on then, what is your alternative besides a cheap flight from London to Dublin and back again? Stay at home and watch Countryfile?

Then we'll all see who's stupid.

Courtney Hamilton
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hey courtney...

10.11.2006 21:34

You do sound genuine. But why do you think it's OK for you and your family to fly between London and Dublin if,as we all understand, this is so detrimental to the future of life on earth?
It's not to do with the happiness of a bug, is it? Many, soon most, intelligent people have realised that reduced consumption (air travel being an easy one to include) is the only way humanity can survive, and are rearranging their lives to accomodate this is the foremost priority.
I'm sure there are good reasons why you're separated by distance. We all used to live in local communities and now we often don't. But that is frequently because (air) travel has allowed us that luxury. Maybe we have to go back to how we lived only a decade or so in the past.



11.11.2006 01:03

To put things in simple terms for you: A plane produces huge amounts of pollution. Trains and ferries do not produce nearly as much. If we do not stop these 'short' distance flights then we will be unhappy humans as we will not have a suitable planet to live on.

'Going and seeing your family' is not an argument to keep such flights, it is an argument to move nearer your family if you want to see them so often! What is wrong with getting a train and ferry? Time? That is just selfish really if you think about it.


Plane Stupid are plain stupid, here's why

11.11.2006 19:10

A commentator above (who hasn't the balls to tell us their real name), has actually got their facts wrong.

FATW argues that; 'EasyGroup is the parent of EasyJet and the ones ultimately the ones pulling the strings - that makes them a far better target than the Luton site'. That is not true.

The truth is;

easyJet is a public company of which the Haji-Ioannou family own around 49% (Stelios Hani-Ioannou does own the easyJet name which he leases back to the airline, but that is something very different). easyGroup is a private holding company which is owned by Stelios Haji-Ioannou. The Haji-Ioannou family interest in easyJet is not legally connected with or managed by easyGroup.

Current easyGroup businesses

easyCinema DVD Rental

Can anyone prove otherwise?

Courtney Hamilton

Wrong target, wrong tactics, wrong protest

12.11.2006 14:17

What more can be said. This must be one of the most ill judged, misguided campaigns ever. Surely by picketing travel agents you are alienating the very people you want to join any campaign against climate change. It is working class people who will suffer by closing down travel agents - surely it would be better to target business that use the majority of short and long haul flights.

Campaigns like this one are what divide rather than unite people. It is not going to help the cause and in fact will have the opposite effect of damaging the campaign by making people think that all environmental campaigners are stupid. I am guessing that Plane Stupid are enthusiastic but inexperienced campaigners and may learn some lessons from this and how to campaign effectively and at the right target.


Travel agents - 'awareness raising' not alienating

12.11.2006 18:15

Perhaps the purpose, and result, of picketing travel agents was to raise the public's awareness of the link between their travel choices and climate change?

Has anyone seen this week's Marketting Weekly...

'Heat is on for Short-Haul Flights'

Looks like the action may have been rather more successful than easyCon and Co. want to admit...

In-Frequent Flyer

I just don't get it

12.11.2006 20:14

I just don't think that this is the right way to raise awareness and putting the onus on working class people to change their travel choices is the wrong tactic when it is business that are the main users of flights and cause the most damage. Their are better ways of raising awareness and building a campaign rather than targetting single issues such as this. This will only alienate people from the environmental campaign and makes us look rather foolish.


Good action

12.11.2006 23:22

This was an inspired and inspiring action, shutting so many travel agents in one day. Shame that the nay sayers seem to be taking over indymedia, I'm sure most people are just annoyed that they weren't in on this campaign.

Well done


This is good

13.11.2006 09:09

Yes, very well done and excellent. People can talk about how the wrong group is being targetted (and they can even be right, though they're wrong in this case) as much as they like, but unless they're organising the "right" way, then they may as well leave it out. Discussion of tactics and strategy is a good thing of course, but carping isn't. If somebody had some more constructive suggestions as to how to target business flyers without targetting airlines and travel agents of course, then I'm sure people would appreciate hearing them - maybe if there was some huge business flights only travel agents? But again to all the people taking action sticking a spanner in the works, good on you.


Misguided Campaign

13.11.2006 15:43

Ok, I guess I am asking the wrong people here anyway so I wont post any more. I am not deliberately trying to throw a spanner in the works and I am involved in campaigning and have been for many years. It's just that tactically this is so obviously wrong and serious campaigners can differentiate between 'toytown' politics and those engaged in real class struggle. Attacking working class people is not the answer as we are the key to any campaign. You should aim to unite not divide.


It's not the working class.

13.11.2006 18:23

I'm not too sure what "?" is talking about.
It's not the working class that is flying every weekend to their second homes in the south of France, it's the wealthy.

But even if it were, I'd still be happy to prevent them. Climate change is killing people. It's not OK to get on a plane when the result of that is that more people will die.It doesn't matter who you are, or which class you think you belong in. Don't fly.



14.11.2006 09:55

This lot are an embarrassment to real campaigners who actually understand what they are campaigning about and who they are targetting. I suggest that Bill checks his facts before making such lazy assumptions - and again, for those who didn't catch the first time - targetting travel agents is not the best way to target business that use the majority of flight miles! Plane Stupid - not bloody half!!!!


Read up on stuff before you comment

14.11.2006 22:59

Who is this '?'....?? I rarely read Indymedia cos it's often so full of people mouthing off who know nothing about the issues... Can I suggest you read about aviation, and who is flying, and who is fuelling the growth in aviation, and only then start commenting? As said above, the latest report by the Civil Aviation Authority (not the most green of organisations about who is flying out of Stanstead (the home of low cost flying) show that the vast majority are A, B and C1s (i.e. in the highest income brackets), their average income is £51,141, and the growth is driven by business travel and those flying to second homes (i.e the most wealthy). Those who earn least are not flying more, and most do not fly at all... Tell someone in Bangladesh it is your 'right' to go to a stag do in Prague anyway... Also a recent MORI poll showed that people are willing to pay more for aviation if it will protect the environment. If you want to get facts on aviation before spouting off go to: and

Becca Lush

Plane Bloody Stupid

16.11.2006 09:43

Therefore closing down travel agents and picketing outside them is so obviously the wrong tactic. But then I suppose this lot have no concept or experience of campaigning WITH the working class, not opposing them. This is proved in their single issue campaign of the most stupidly, woefully inept, embarrassing and misguided direction that has been taken.
Can you not see how foolish this is - even the photo just makes you look ridiculous. And before people go on, I am an environmental campaigner, just a serious one who does not make tokenistic stunts like this one and draws in support from the public and campaigns on the wider issues involved which are clearly out of the grasp of Plane Stupid!


There is no excuse!

16.11.2006 15:23

Maybe Plane Stupid did go about it in the wrong way (as many people have commented here) but what is the right way? Surely the fact that they have raised this much awareness can only be a good thing? And they are actually doing something about raising awareness about the issues of air travel. The average tax payer pays £300 a year to subsidise aviation fuel whether they fly or not. The cost is to the taxpayer AND the planet, just choose the victim you prefer. Flight is a luxury that does not have to be indulged for lesiure time activities, taking a different form of transport that may take slightly longer and cost a bit more to the consumer will ultimately make a phenominal saving to the planet.


How dare you!

18.11.2006 16:42

How dare you get off your arse and take direct action. Don't you realise that IMUK isn't some haven for people who breach the peace.

Try reposting the report with a few links to PrisonPlanet and Rense and blame the Jews (*cough* Mossad) for global warming.

Get with it!

Pompous Gainsayer

Rail fares need targeting

18.11.2006 17:51

It would help if Plane Stupid protestsed how high rail fares are between Britain and the Contient.

Cheap rail fares would lower air travel a lot!

It is a disgrace how much rail fares cost.

Oh, and Courtney, you are an arse. God forbid people don't use their real names. Maybe they don't have a name that fills the mouth like you do.

Tim McGee
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Fuel Duty

22.11.2006 13:07

The fairest way to deal with this issue is to find a way to impose duty / tax on aircraft fuel. I can't remember the actual numbers, but airlines pay only a fraction of the cost per litre that us UK otorists have to fork out. This would have the same impact on EasyJet, RyanAir etc, as on British Airways and the other big players. But as this is an international issue, I suspect that there will never be a consensus - a UK only fuel duty would put all UK based airlines at a competitive disadvantage, and I can't see the Americans ever agreeing to it.

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Oi dont' be stupid this is not only a class issue !

25.11.2006 19:04

The fact is that wonderful though it may seem to be able travel the hundreds of miles in a few minutes for very little money the hidden costs are going to be catastrophic for all of us . The effects of Global warming are being visited on all of us and on all our children, poor and rich and at some stage we are all going to be impacted.
. The poorest in the world are already being impacted in places like Bangladesh.The class argument looks a bit thin in that context . While we may live in class based societies but Global warming is a threat to us all and it must be fought collectively. I also think that it is Business class is the major culprit, one more way corprations fuck up the planet flying suits across the world to conferences when they could perfectly well use video conferencing instead , maybe the Plane Stupid campaign could hit them next thus avoiding any of the inevitable class arguments

I think the campaign and anyone who wants to get involved need to debate these issues and develop arguments which focus on a solution to these problems in a way which is sensitive to class injustices , but which neverthless addresses the fact that cheap airlines and in fact all airlines do not and have no intention of seriously addressing the issue of climate change , because corporations are psychotic about profit

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Air traffic and lack there of in the past

12.03.2007 00:49

The first time I visited Britain in 1976 the way people seemed to be getting to Ireland from a long weekend in London was the train to Holyhead, the Ferry over, the bus to wherever. It seemed to work. I don't remember there being much option to fly then, or it was just for the rich.

Ouch! Just read in The News of the World your Camilla sent a jet to someplace in the Middle East to fetch a pair of shoes.

And one of our Al Gore's staff regularily flies a Jetstream across the continent: the equivalent of driving a Hummer for a year, I read. And Al Gore is our Climate Change proponent!

I'm very saddened by what has happened. Who'd thunk? My father was an airline captain from the 40's-70's: we never knew. I like to travel on a plane once a year, usually to London and then Italy. I want to go to India. It's pretty extreme to insist people do not travel. I totally see not traveling from London to Scotland or Ireland. At least your country has a better rail system than ours does.

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Plane Stupid Campaigners are Plane Stupid

06.08.2007 17:13

As the population of this country (and the world) continues to rapidly increase, then we have no choice but to increase the size and capacity of the countries infrastructure, this includes airports, roads, housing, etc.

Why aren't the compaigners protesting about overpopulation? Because there stupid. Instead we're all encouraged to live unrealistically efficient lifes so more and more people can be cramed into the world.

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Disinformation alert

14.08.2007 00:36

There is a propaganda message going out that aircraft only contribute six percent of the UK's emmisions. Can you remind the people that emissions injected directly into the stratosphere are much more dangerous to the climate than those generated at groung level, that six percent works like much more, lets say 30 percent for arguments sake.

A Barnett
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courtney hamilton

14.08.2007 00:40

This is the kind of selfish arrogance we have to oppose. Wants to know what alternatives there are. MOVE CLOSER!

A Barnett
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what on earth has it got to do with class?

10.12.2008 16:10

So what happened? About 50 very well educated and very priviledged people decided to disrupt the flights that thousands of less lucky people were taking to visit their loved ones or take a well earned break. What arrogance! I could understand it better if it was targetted at business class passengers. I hope the people involved feel ashamed of themselves when they reflect on their actions but somehow I doubt it.

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