| Tuesday 14th August
2007 | Issue 599
WAKE UP!! IT'S YER CHOCKS AWAY....
Version - Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!
Story Links: Ground
Control | Crap Arrest Of The Week | Jet-Set
And Match | Nothing Toulouse | Inside
Schnews | Party & Protest |
AS FLY-BY-NIGHT CLIMATE
PROTESTERS OCCUPY HEATHROW SITE...
Climate activists caught the Met's finest flat-footed on Saturday
night as they pre-emptively seized land for the climate camp. At
10pm around 150 activists poured onto the site on Sipson Lane near
Harlington - just 800m away from BAA's headquarters (see
map and directions). Within minutes an intricate tripod structure
of scaffold tubes was erected and occupied to prevent a swift eviction.
In the event police didn't arrive in numbers until over an
hour later, giving the squatters time to get vital equipment on-site
to begin camping. A perimeter was secured with fencing stakes and
rope, and primed with Section 6 notices. Soon after, scores of police
arrived and blocked Sipson Lane - preventing vehicle access and
conducting random stop and searches under Section 44 of the terrorism
At about one in the morning, as the camp's police liaison team
were attempting to negotiate, one of them was arrested (see crap
arrest of the week). A tense stand-off continued until dawn.
On Sunday the situation settled down into a stalemate. Despite
repeated requests, the campers refused a permanent police presence
on site. Top cop Chief Super Ian Thomas, 'silver commander' on the
ground, claimed that as the climate camp was "like a village
- it should be patrolled like any other village". The
fact that at the time nearly 200 officers were surrounding the site
while a helicopter circled overhead should be welcome news to any
out-of-town Daily Mail readers concerned about rural crime prevention.
As the planned third runway would obliterate the surrounding area
and separate Sipson village from its neighbour Harlington, it's
no surprise that locals were supportive of the camp's presence
with one man setting up his own 'Sipson RIP' tent at
the camp's entrance. Posters supporting the local No Third
runway action group (www.notrag.org)
are prominent on many local houses (over 700 of which will be destroyed
to make way for the facility).
By co-incidence the camp is located next to a Sikh temple -
due to be demolished for the new runway - that was also hosting
a major gathering. A donation of onion bhajis was gratefully devoured
by a suspiciously religion-friendly gate crew.
Police maintained a road-block at both ends of Sipson lane, using
it as a bargaining chip in an attempt to gain access to the site.
Rather than give in to this blatant blackmail, activists formed
human chains to bring tonnes of equipment over the half kilometre
on to site. By Sunday afternoon there were hundreds of tents and
over a dozen marquees up and equipped.
At 8am on Monday morning, police suddenly invaded the site. About
30 officers accompanied Supt. Thomas and the F.I.T team on to the
camp ground. As the entire site is clearly visible from the road
this was nothing more than a power-play by the Met.
From the outset the demand was for a permanent police presence
on site. Taking advantage of their temporary superiority of numbers,
the police made no concessions, with Thomas insisting that the road
block would be maintained and that even medical supplies would have
to be brought in by hand. In accordance with police plans, four
officers are now permanently on site.
One camper told SchNEWS, "The plan seems to be to force us
to divert energy into moving stuff rather developing strategies
to combat climate chaos. They've abandoned all pretence of
being piggy-in-the-middle - this is obvious political policing.
We're here and the camp will go on regardless... Come and
join in and take action against climate chaos now!"
* For programme of workshops/talks at the camp see http://climatecamp.org.uk/wshops.pdf
PERMISSION TO LAND
Site entry on Sipson Lane, between the
villages of Sipson and Harlington, north of Heathrow (don't
go to Staines, it's the wrong side of Heathrow for the camp).
To get there by public transport: Catch
train to 'Hayes and Harlington' station. From
there bus 90, 140 or H98 heading south, getting off at the
corner of Harlington High Street and walk west along Sipson
Lane about 600 metres. Or go one station further on to West
Drayton and take the 222 bus to the Western (Sipson) end
of Sipson Lane.
For more info call 0207 3779088, a hotline
running from 10am-6pm each day.
ARREST OF THE WEEK
For not acting your age
Over-enthusiastic members of the Met's Tactical Support Group
arrested one of the climate camp's police liaison team for
having a 'fraudulent' rail card. Not believing he was
under 25 (all this activism is terrible for the skin) they bounced
his head off the inside of the van and whisked him away to West
Drayton nick. Released in the early hours of the morning with no
charge the hapless camper made his way back to camp on public transport
- no doubt paying the full fare.
* The Climate Camp is running it's own Crap Arrest
competition as well as a more original Stop n' Search game - see
" It's not that surprising that Plane Stupid received an injunction,
we're a direct action group. But BAA wanted to injunct 5 million
people under the PHA (Protection from Harassment Act) turning them
into criminals. It's been a disaster for them, in fact solicitor
Timothy Lawson Cruttenden (TLC - injunction specialist - see SchNEWS
581) is the best thing that's happened to anti-aviation climate
campaigning - if he wanted to come down to the climate camp I'm
sure he'd be given a tent and a hero's welcome!" - Plane Stupid
Part II of the climate camp injunction saga (see SchNEWS
598), and BAA are retreating from the court room choking on
their own emissions. Led up the garden path by TLC and the Metropolitan
Police, the owners of Heathrow tried to secure the "mother
of all injunctions" against anyone and everyone even thinking
about heading up to the climate camp. The only problem with
this legal juggernaut was the total lack of evidence.
In the end BAA ended up with an injunction under civil law, which
only backs up existing bye-laws. Basically the injunction (which
the judge refused to issue under the PHA act) forbids trespass on
property actually belonging to Heathrow airport.
IMPORTANT: The climate camp itself is NOT
affected by the injunction - the police have no extra
powers at the site.
Filming: Police video teams and stills photographers
are in attendance. Legally they are allowed to film you but
there are no rules about turning away or hurrying past! Under
certain circumstances, following a direction from a senior
officer, police have powers to remove face coverings. Feel
free to film them back.
Stop & Search: There are many pretexts
for stop and searches but ultimately it is an offence to refuse.
However they can only remove your outer clothing and you never
have to give your name and address. (Unless you are driving
Any problems? - Contact the legal team on
site. 07510 458006 or Bindmans solicitors on 0207 8334433
Don't bring: Dogs, drugs, weapons,
Undeterred by being the only group affected by the injunction the
Plane Stupid crew have taken their objections to the aviation industry
to the Airbus 'superjumbo' factory in Broughton, North
Activists boarded and occupied a barge carrying a wing of an A380
airbus - the world's largest passenger jet. It was heading
out of the factory (presumably using canals and not opportunistically
heading across flood plains) bound for the port of Mostyn and, ultimately,
the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France where the beasts are assembled.
While they hoped to remain on the barge "until ministers came
up with a 'safe' aviation policy" it's doubtful
that was going to happen before the barge in question became an
ark, and it wasn't long before the six protesters were removed
by security and moved on by police.
Just before taking flight, their spokesperson said: "This
is the end of today's protest, but you might find action being
taken in other parts of the country this week..."
It may yet turn out that Police will wish they'd just been
allowed to attend the Heathrow camp after all - it would have been
so much easier to keep their eyes on them... www.planestupid.com
A protester has been given a 28-day sentence for refusing to pay
a £750 fine, after arrest at Prestwick Airport, Scotland,
where Israeli war planes were re-arming and transferring US weaponry
during the bombing of Lebanon last summer (see SchNEWS
555). Marcus Armstrong was part of a group of eight Trident
Ploughshares activists arrested and charged with trespass at the
airbase on August 6th 2006 during a night-time weapons inspection
at the base, looking for US weapons of mass you-know-what. After
seven protesters were acquitted last week at Ayr Sheriff Court,
Marcus was found guilty. His argument was that the Israelis were
breaking international law, and that the bombing was war crimes
targeting civilians - but Sheriff Montgomery claimed Marcus didn't
have firm evidence that the UK Govt knew war crimes were going on
at the base, and therefore there was no excuse for the action. When
he refused to pay the fine, a four-week sentence was handed down.
* See www.tridentploughshares.org
and write to Marcus Armstrong, HMP Kilmarnock Bowhouse,
Kilmarnock, KA1 5AA. (tel 01563 548800)
* Last week in Scotland, at Glasgow Airport, an
aircraft regularly used for rendition flights stopped off on unknown
business, before going back to the US. This plane was once owned
by Braxton Management - a CIA shelf company - and is
now owned by another front company. This plane is also a regular
at Shannon Airport, Ireland. See www.sacc.org.uk
27-30 - Smash EDO Summer Action Camp - Direct
Action against the War machine. The Protest Camp will be a chance
to work together to close down the arms factory in Brighton. We
will have workshops on effective campaigning, actions against EDO
MBM and lots of fun together. Come and join us! Call 07875708873
31 - Critical Mass - The pedal powered
direct action where cyclists retake the road en-masse. These events
are held in cities around the world, including several British cities,
usually on the last Friday of the month at 5.30pm at a regular meeting
point. For British dates check www.schnews.org.uk/pap/index.htm#crit-mass
11 - Disarm DSEi - a day of actions against
the Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi), the arms
sales expo held every other year at East London's ExCel Centre.
19-24 - Gatwick area No Borders Camp. This will
be a space to share information, skills, knowledge and experiences,
and to plan actions together against the system of border controls.
Place: Gatwick area. http://noborders.org.uk
Good news and bad news for those fighting road developments in
Poland. Work in Rospuda valley to put tarmac though a primeval forest
and heritage site (see SchNEWS 578) has
been stopped for a European tribunal to consider the case, and the
camp is taking a well earned break (just in case you were planning
to go there on holiday).
And what is everybody's nightmare scenario upon returning home
after a such a breakaway...? Been burgled? Squatted? Flooded? Kids
had a wild party and scratched an antique table and then failed
to find a furniture polisher in the Yellow Pages? No, none of the
above for Alicja Ziemowit, one resident of Lodz, Poland, who arrived
back home to discover that the local council had built a new road
complete with traffic island in her back garden.
When she complained she was told that a change in the law meant
that local council officials could now use private land for road
building without consent or compensation. A council spokesman said,
"I don't know why she is complaining, it is not a busy
road, and she can still get to the back of her garden quite easily."
She will surely enjoy relaxing on the hard shoulder and could now
perhaps open a roadside stall to sell cappuccinos to workers at
the new computer factory down the road.
Lodz council added, humourlessly, "She still owns the land,
it just has a road on it now."
It seems that politicians and the people are, as ever, Poles apart.
SchNEWS warns all travellers going through Heathrow - you run the
risk of losing yer ideological baggage... Honest!
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