Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Climate activist glued to Prime Minister


A campaigner from the climate action group, Plane Stupid, is currently super-glued to Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the State Dining Room of 10 Downing Street.

Dan Glass, a 24 year old MSc student based in Scotland, gained access to the PM’s official residence at 5pm this evening. He greeted Mr Brown and asked the Prime Minister why he and his ministers have refused to meet West London residents opposed to the construction of a third runway at Heathrow. He simultaneously put his super-glue covered hand onto Brown’s polyester suit. When Brown went to turn away he found he had been super-glued by his clothing to Plane Stupid, and had no option but to listen to Dan.

Dan read messages to the PM from people whose villages will be bulldozed if Brown agrees to BAA’s expansion plans. He also read out testimony from communities across the world threatened by climate change while Downing Street aides attempt to extract the Labour leader from the green campaigner. Dan hoped to stay glued to the PM long enough to begin quoting from confidential documents secured through the Freedom of Information Act, which reveal the government’s public consultation on Heathrow expansion was fixed. The papers reveal Ministers have engaged in an extraordinary level of collusion with airport operator, BAA, fiddling pollution figures and developing a joint strategy to beat opposition groups.

The government consultation received 80,000 responses from the public, almost all of which opposed the government’s plans, despite the fact that people were not even asked whether they wanted a third runway and no consideration of the climate impacts appeared in the consultation documents.

Dan took today’s extraordinary step because Brown and his Transport Secretary, Ruth Kelly, have refused to meet residents from Sipson – the west London village, which would be wiped off the map if new Labour gives into BAA’s demands for a third runway. Some of the messages Dan is reading out to the Prime Minister are quotes from newspaper interviews with Sipson residents.

Plane Stupid activist, Graham Thompson who is currently facing prosecution for scaling Parliament in February and branding the Palace of Westminster “BAA HQ,” today said:

“Gordon Brown’s only got two possible legacies, the first Prime Minister to really get climate change or the last one not to. Brown needs to realise we can beat climate change, but not by doubling the size of the world’s biggest international airport. That’s why we took our peaceful campaign from the roof of Parliament to 10 Downing Street.”

When BAA first sought permission to build Terminal 5, the company wrote to nearby residents promising never to seek further Heathrow expansion. Now they have colluded with the government to get a third runway and a sixth terminal by manipulating the consultation process which has been widely condemned as unfair, undemocratic and fundamentally dishonest.

Graham Thompson continued:

“Brown’s consultation was a fix, pure and simple. It was the single most anti-democratic thing this wretched government has done since the Iraq war, and that’s saying something. Dan thought that if super-gluing himself to the Prime Minister was the only way to cut through the power of giant corporations like BAA and ensure he hears what people from West London really think, then so be it.”

- ENDS -

MORE INFORMATION AND AUDIO OF THE ACTION:

www.planestupid.com
press@planestupid.com

NOTES:

Dan Glass biog:

Dan Glass is a 24 year old student from Barnet, north London. He is currently studying an MSc in human ecology and climate change at Strathclyde University in Scotland where he is researching the impacts of airport expansion on community cohesion. Dan joined Plane Stupid about 18 months ago after he was inspired by reading George Monbiot’s books. Dan is a graduate of Sussex University where he studied Geography and Development Studies and where he was elected to be president of the university student union. His father is a lawyer and his mother works for a Jewish Music Institute. Dan says he draws his motivation to stand up for what he believes in from his grandparents who are holocaust survivors.

Details of the FoI documents detailing the fixed consultation:

Sunday Times revelations: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3512042.ece

FoI documents: www.greenpeace.org.uk/baa

Plane Stupid
- e-mail: info@planestupid.com
- Homepage: http://www.planestupid.com

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