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13th Sept - XR to close Heathrow airport with drone attack?

 
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:04 pm    Post subject: 13th Sept - XR to close Heathrow airport with drone attack? Reply with quote

Heathrow drone protest: Airport says plans 'criminal and counterproductive'
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-49509852

Heathrow drone protest: Airport says plans 'criminal and counterproductive'
29 August 2019
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Climate campaigners' plans to use drones to disrupt flights are "criminal and counterproductive", Heathrow Airport said.

Heathrow Pause, an Extinction Rebellion offshoot, are to fly toy drones within the no-fly zone, grounding all flights, on 13 September.

Organisers expect up to "a couple of hundred people" to be involved.

The Met Police said it would "do everything in its power to stop and prevent any such criminal activity".

The activists said they "can't stand aside" and have to act, with disruption intended to last for a number of days and potentially longer.

A Heathrow spokeswoman said airport chiefs "agree with the need to act on climate change", adding: "This is a global issue that requires constructive engagement and action.

"Committing criminal offences and disrupting passengers is counter-productive."

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Image caption
The sighting of drones brought Gatwick Airport to a halt just before Christmas last year
Heathrow Pause said the small, lightweight drones would not be flown above head height or on flight paths.

Flying drones over 15.5lbs (7kg) in weight above 400ft (122m) is considered "hazardous" under current legislation.

However, activists plan to operate within the three-mile (5km) no-fly zone surrounding the airport, introduced after drone sightings at Gatwick Airport in December caused about 1,000 flights to be cancelled or diverted.

The group said the airport would be given one hour's notice before each drone flight. The flights are planned at regular intervals, ensuring "no aircraft flights will take place".

Extinction Rebellion said it did "not support" the group's actions, although both groups share many of the same coordinators.

In a statement the group said: "Extinction Rebellion UK neither condones nor condemns the action and will not be supporting it in any way."

Image copyrightPA
Image caption
The group said the drones would not be flown on flight paths
The Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: "Heathrow Airport is part of our national infrastructure and we will not allow the illegal activity of protesters to cause misery to thousands of air travellers.

"The dangers of flying drones in airspace used by airliners carrying passengers are stark and the consequences potentially very severe.

"We would urge anybody intending to join this event with a view to committing criminal activity, whether considered peaceful or not, to think twice."

In a 22-page manifesto, Heathrow Pause said protesters "are prepared to be arrested peacefully".

"Our readiness and courage are based on the conviction that our actions are a humanitarian act, this is an act of conscience, and this action is proportionate," the group said.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

History will be kind to Heathrow climate protesters who stop us flying
George Monbiot
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/04/history-kind-hea throw-climate-protesters-stop-us-flying

Activists plan to release drones near the airport. Their possible arrest is a small price to pay for fighting the climate crisis
@GeorgeMonbiot
Wed 4 Sep 2019 06.00 BST
Last modified on Wed 4 Sep 2019 15.24 BST

Passengers await their flights at Heathrow

Obedience is dangerous: it has facilitated every form of institutional oppression and violence. Every advance in justice, peace and democracy has been made possible by disobedience. Ethical progress is unlikely when we do only what we are told.

We owe our right to vote, our freedom from servitude and subjection, our prosperity and security to people reviled in their time as lawbreakers and reprobates. Breaking the law on behalf of others is a long and honourable tradition. Next week, a few dozen unaffiliated activists intend to start something they call Heathrow Pause. They will each fly a toy drone within the restricted zone around Heathrow airport. The drones will fly nowhere near the flight paths, and never above head height, ensuring they present no risk. But any drone activity forces the airport to suspend all flights. The activists know they face arrest and possibly long prison sentences.

We are told that flying is about freedom. It is: the freedom of the rich to destroy the lives of the poor
Their plan is to launch their drones consecutively, stopping flights for as long as possible: perhaps for several days. In doing so they seek to denormalise one of the most destructive activities on Earth. Once unthinkable, then a bizarre novelty, then an extraordinary luxury, then a hope, then an expectation, flying – and flying frequently – is now treated as a right. Worldwide, the number of flights is expected to double in 20 years. In the UK, if aviation growth is unchecked, it could soon account for most of the carbon we can afford to burn, if the government is to meet its obligations under the Paris agreement. Even current levels of flying make a nonsense of international commitments. Yet everywhere governments are seeking to expand airport capacity.

Those who defend the sector point out that it currently produces “only” 2.4% of the world’s emissions. But this is because just 20% of the world’s people have ever flown. In terms of individual impact, taking a flight, because of the quantity of fuel it uses, inflicts more harm on the living planet and its people than anything else you are likely to do.

Even in rich nations, flying is overwhelmingly concentrated among the wealthiest citizens. In the UK, 15% of the population accounts for 70% of flights. Those most likely to fly frequently, according to House of Commons research, have a second home abroad and a household income of more than £115,000. We are told that flying is about freedom. It is: the freedom of the rich to destroy the lives of the poor.

As flying expands, it will become one of the principal causes of global heating. The impact is already greater than the 2.4% of emissions suggests, as planes create cirrus clouds that roughly double the overall heating effect. There are technological alternatives for most of our damaging activities – but not flying. Biofuels will cause more problems than they solve. Large electric planes, for all the hype surrounding them, are many years away and may never materialise.

Carbon offsets are now redundant: the only way of preventing more than 1.5C of heating is to reduce emissions drastically, while simultaneously using the protection and restoration of nature to draw down carbon from the atmosphere. One is not a substitute for the other: we need to maximise both. The only realistic option is to travel less by plane.

Yet flying on a whim is being normalised, even hypernormalised. Last year Tatler magazine, whose target readers are extremely wealthy, airily declared: “The Long-Haul Long Weekend is now a thing.” It gushes about escaping from “grey England” to the Seychelles for four days – or to Kenya, Antigua or Cape Town, a mere 11 hours away. “Slip off to one of these destinations on a Thursday night and you can be back by Tuesday with an adventure worth shouting about.”

Activists to fly drones at Heathrow in attempt to ground flights
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Among the most depressing things I have seen in the past year is Jane Goodall’s appearance in an advertisement for British Airways: when a prominent environmentalist endorses an airline, you know we are in deep moral trouble.

The socially just solution is the frequent-flyer levy proposed by the Free Ride coalition. There would be no aviation tax for the first flight in any year that a person takes but escalating taxes on subsequent flights. Set at the right level, the levy would avert the need for airport expansion, and steadily scale down the industry. But don’t expect the government to listen. The new transport secretary, Grant Shapps, was previously chair of the British Infrastructure Group, which lobbied “to ensure that every opportunity for growth is seized”, backing airport expansion and a reduction in air passenger duty.

Nothing will change until the impacts of flying become salient. One of the Heathrow Pause campaigners, Valerie Brown, told me: “I’m petrified, of course ... It’s not easy to face the idea of prison, but it’s even more frightening to me to think about what my grandchildren and all the children of the world will face in 20 or 30 years’ time.” Another, James Brown (no relation), explained that he decided to act when he found his adult daughter had broken down with grief about ecological destruction. “I’m prepared to face the consequences,” he said. “I don’t know what prison will be like for me. But against the alternatives it’s a small price to pay.”

They risk their liberty in the hope of freeing us from the momentous consequences of climate breakdown. History will judge them kindly.

• George Monbiot is a Globalist agent

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