Flashmob at London City Airport
We were 60 activists from Climate Camp, and we were occupying the main entrance to London City Airport alongside activists from the local Fight the Flights campaign group. Looking back, I was amazed at how quickly an effective action can be put together.
Just under 24 hours before, we sat in a tent at the Climate Camp, discussing the shocking approval of corporate-led plans to expand the capacity at London City Airport by 50% against the wishes of the local residents and ignoring its massive impact on the global climate. Soon a flash mob was planned for noon the next day and activists were busy making banners, spreading the word around the neighbourhoods at camp and getting in touch with the local activist group – Fight the Flights.
The next day at 10:30am we were assembled at the main gates in ‘Stop Airport Expansion’ t-shirts, ready to make our way to the airport to make our voices heard. A bus and tube ride later and 60 campers and local activists took over the main entrance to the airport with banners reading ‘The rich fly, the poor fry’ and ‘Stop Airport Expansion’ singing songs and hearing from those involved in preparing the action.
The London City Airport is one of the most appalling examples of the influence of corporate power and the pursuit if profit, over the needs and wishes of people all over the world. The airport was set up with the sole purpose of providing easy high-class travel for London’s business elite in the heart of one of London’s poorest areas. It recently gained approval for a 50% increase in flights, a harsh example of the emptiness of Boris’s ‘green’ election promises, and against the wishes of local residents.
As well as damaging the local community the expansion of flights at the airport will also only work to drive up the fastest growing source of emissions in the UK – aviation. The same corporate interests that continue to push for this expansion are the same interests that will be using the airport this December to fly to Copenhagen to push false solutions such as carbon trading – to create new corporate profits, preserve business as usual and do nothing to reduce carbon emissions. These interests can’t continue to drive our climate change policies and put profit over people, whether it is at City Airport or at Copenhagen.
Today we made sure the airports and the people of London knew the strength of feeling against the airport’s plans and heard our message. And by no means is this the end- we will be back!!