Wednesday, September 8, 2010

End Domestic Flights demo at London City and Manchester Airports

On Saturday 4th September, campaigners from Manchester and London held a joint demonstration calling for an end to domestic flights. There are currently around 38 flights per day between Manchester and the London hubs.

Rally at London City Airport - Sept 2010

The day began with a rally in the morning at London City Airport. Campaigners then travelled through London on an open top bus to Euston where they boarded a train to Manchester. They were greeted off the train at Manchester Picadilly by a group of Manchester campaigners with placards and banners reading, "Trains Not Planes" as well as "Railways Not Runways".

Greeting the London campaigners at Manchester Picadilly train station.
They then joined a larger rally at Terminal 3 of Manchester Airport. Councillor Martin Eakins, Amanda Walters from Manchester Plane Stupid, Phil Thornhill from Campaign against Climate Change, John Stewart from Airportwatch and local Hasty Lane resident Peter Johnson all spoke about different airport expansion issues - including climate change, jobs, direct action and effects on local communities.

Rally at Manchester Airport - Sept 2010
Speaking before the event, Phil Thornhill from Campaign against Climate Change said “As unprecedented flooding devastates Pakistan,record temperatures stoke raging wildfires around Moscow and torrential downpours cause landslides that kill thousands in China - its time we got serious about the escalating threat from climate change before its too late. Aviation symbolises the high-emission lifestyles of the developed world that are threatening billions, especially in the most vuLnerable communities, around the world. We can start to get to grips with the growth in aviation by eliminating the shorter journeys that can be made in other, less carbon intensive, ways.”

Councillor Martin Eakins said, “Aviation from Manchester Airport contributes more greenhouse gasses than all other polluters put together in Manchester. Reducing our carbon output by ending domestic flights would go a long way to making our city environmentally sustainable.”
Some weren't convinced by Manchester Airport's green claims.

After the rally, the group headed to Hasty Lane for some fruit picking with the Abundance Project followed ba an evening party. The fruit was donated to a local community centre in Wythenshawe - showing what positive contributions Hasty Lane can make to the area without being turned into cargo sheds.

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