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Wed, Feb 27, 2008

Greenpeace Protest At Heathrow Leads To Red Faces, Permanent Bans

Environmentalists Protest Plans For Third Runway

A Monday protest against a new, third runway at London's Heathrow Airport, staged by Greenpeace, has resulted in red faces.

According to The Guardian, protestors rode onboard a British Airways flight from Manchester to Heathrow. After the plane arrived at its gate, the group apparently slipped through a door between terminals, out a broken security door onto the tarmac, climbed an airstair next to an A320... and then on top of the plane itself.

"The door was broken so there was no security," said protestor Sarah Shoraka. "It was ajar. Once we got to doors and saw that they were open, we walked through calmly and it felt quite normal."

The group then hoisted a banner which covered the plane's tail and said, "Climate Emergency - No Third Runway." Greenpeace opposes efforts to accommodate surging traffic at Heathrow... which is only expected to increase as Open Skies legislation comes online at the end of March.

This time around, protestors snuck onto the airside... and as you might have guessed, lots of chaos ensued. The protestors were arrested, and presented with a trespass notice which bans them for life from British Airways flights. They've also been told to stop contacting the airline and its staff.

To avoid the very real possibility of being shot by airport security, the protestors say they told Metropolitan police of their plans ahead of time. "We informed them as soon as we got there so they knew exactly who we were," said Greenpeace member Anna Jones.

Greenpeace isn't the only environmental group fighting Heathrow's third runway. One group, "Plane Stupid" calls the fight to block the runway one of the biggest environmental battles in Europe, "...and it's one we intend to win."

Nevermind that. We'd hate to be the one in charge of security door maintenance at Heathrow...

FMI: www.heathrowairport.com, www.greenpeace.org

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