Manchester Plane Stupid vow to fight on

Two Manchester Plane Stupid activists who blockaded the road entrance to the World Freight Centre of Manchester Airport have been found guilty of obstruction of the highway. The group remain united and have vowed to continue the fight against the aviation industry.

The two defendants, Mark Howarth and Amanda Walters, had pleaded not guilty to the charge on the grounds that their obstruction of the highway was a reasonable use of the road considering the significant impacts on local homes and globally in contributing to climate change - caused by the proposed expansion of the airport. The court heard how the defendants had tried other means of redress prior to the protest action in May 2010 but that these methods had been ineffective as of yet in halting airport expansion.

On Monday, nine other defendants involved in the protests pleaded guilty and received fines and costs averaging around £340 each.

Speaking after the case, defendant Mark Howarth said:

"The battle against airport expansion at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick was won because ordinary people came together, joined forces and took on the aviation industry. We've linked up with residents in Manchester and Heathrow and we'll continue to challenge Manchester Airport's expansion plans".

The public campaign 'Manchester Airport on Trial' lives on and the defendants have received support from all kinds of different people and communities including support from Independent journalist Johann Hari, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, Labour MP John Mcdonnell and Conservative Party MP Zac Goldsmith. The 6 who went airside and used armtube lock ons round the wheel of a plane will stand trial seperately for aggravated trespass in Feburary 2011.