#1 More eco loonies - Climate activists halt flightsSonnabendGuest12-08-2008, 06:28 AM
DOZENS of flights were cancelled at Stansted Airport near London today after activists demonstrating against global warming cut through a fence near the runway. The airport reopened around 0800 GMT (1900 AEDT) after police arrested 57 people who had breached the perimeter fence using bolt-cutters under cover of darkness five hours earlier.
One of the activists, Lily Kember, 21, said the protesters were able to sit on a site near where aeroplanes taxi before taking off and landing.
"Being arrested is a terrifying prospect, but not nearly as terrifying as the threat of climate change," she said.
You mean that myth bruited about by a load of panic merchants?
The Plane Stupid protest group were demonstrating against the British government's decision to allow the airport
which is the main hub for budget airline Ryanair, to be expanded with a second runway. Stansted's commercial manager Nick Barton said the airport's security staff had prevented the activists from reaching the runway.
"They were unable to get to the runway and a second wave of protesters was stopped," he told BBC radio. "All of the invaders of the runway have been removed and are in the arms of the police."
He said he hoped the airport would be able to "recover quite well" from the impact of the protest, but admitted it would cause delays throughout the day.
Ryanair said it had to cancel 52 flights in and out of Stansted as a result of the protest, including services to Dublin, Prestwick in Scotland, Frankfurt, Genoa, Oslo and Berlin. The Irish budget airline said it was calling for an investigation into why security at the airport "has once again failed to keep Stansted secure and open to the travelling public".
Plane Stupid said in a statement that aviation was the fastest-growing source of emissions and already contributed to at least 13 per cent of Britain's carbon emissions.
It said the disruption to flights would prevent "the release of thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere".
The group has staged other high-profile demonstrations against the expansions of London airports. Its members climbed onto the roof of the Houses of Parliament in February to protest against proposals to add a third runway at Heathrow, which is already one of the busiest airports in the world.
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