Huge show of support for defendants at Trafford Magistrates Court this morning for the first MAoT(Manchester Airport on Trial). Despite freezing temperatures people from all walks of life including Hasty Lane resident Pete Johnson came down to the courthouse with banners to wish the defendants well. 11 local campaigners are in court charged with willful obstruction of the public highway as a joint enterprise. Nine of the eleven are pleading guilty unable to bear the cost of the trial and two Amanda and Mark are pleading not guilty.
Margaret Westbrook a Trafford resident who came to court to support the defendants said 'the campaigners needed to take direct action due to the devastating environmental impacts of expanding Manchester Airport', she said 'it was a reasonable use non violent direct action to protest against the demolition of local homes and rising emissions especially since they have tried every other political avenue'.
Anne Power another Trafford resident expressed her dismay 'that people are so focused on the business side of the airport expansion and little thought is given to the homes that have to be knocked down or the biodiversity that will be lost.'
The campaigners believe the wreck less expansion of Manchester airport and the effects this is having on the local community and undermining our efforts to tackle climate change are worth risking legal sanctions. Their actions were further justified by the fact that official decision making channels had been exhausted and proven to be ineffective.