#Heathrow13: Join the fightback

UPDATE: Great news, the Heathrow 13 didn't go to jail, so we're saving the flash mob at Heathrow for another day. As such you can have your Saturday morning back, or perhaps you'd like to go along to the Stop Trident demo instead? If so there is an Arms to Renewables Climate bloc you can join

13 Plane Stupid activists have been spared jail today for protesting against new runways that would cause climate chaos.

This is a huge relief for the activists and their families, and a massive boost for the movement to stop airport expansion. The court's U-turn over a prison sentence is a vindication of the right to peaceful protest.

At a time when we need to be cutting emissions rapidly, the Government is planning new runways to massively increase them. And to get away with it, it's trying to shut climate change out of the debate.

Can you help carry on what the Heathrow13 have started?

It's because of people power that we don't have a third runway now. People power will stop new runways again. We're in it for the long haul. No ifs, no buts.

Here are a few ways you can stand with the #Heathrow13

1. Take back the media

Those pushing for new runways are trying to keep climate change out of the debate. They hope harsh sentences will help shut that conversation down. But we can stop them.

Here’s how:

Visit Heathrow’s Facebook page and leave polite comments and replies on their latest posts. You can also leave a one star review along with a comment.

We think it’s always stronger if you use your own words, but if you’re not sure what to say we’ve prepared some talking points below to help you write your message:

  • Prince Charles has said that drought linked to climate change is a 'major reason' for 4 million Syrians becoming refugees - those 4 million need emissions cuts now, not new runways. I support the #Heathrow13.
  • At a time when we urgently need to be cutting emissions rapidly, why are you planning a new runway to massively increase them? I support the #Heathrow13.
  • Heathrow’s emissions aren’t just a threat to polar bears. They are killing people now, and another runway will hugely increase that death toll. I support the #Heathrow13.
  • A third runway at Heathrow will exacerbate the air pollution crisis that’s already costing thousands of lives every year. I support the #Heathrow13.
  • The aviation industry is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. How can we take meaningful action to prevent catastrophic climate change while it continues to expand? I support the #Heathrow13.

Leave a Google Review. Google Heathrow Airport, and leave a polite one star review letting them know what you think of new runways. Again you can use your own words or the talking points. Like and rate other activists' reviews - this will make our message go further.

Done those and have some more time? Great! Here are some more ways we can get our message across on social media:

On Twitter:  Click here to tweet Heathrow Airport.

If you’d prefer to use your own wording, just tweet at @HeathrowAirport - again you might find the talking points helpful - and use #heathrowcommunity and #hexupdates.

You can also reply to @HeathrowAirport’s tweets and use #heathrow and #takingbritainfurther.

On Instagram: Use #heathrowairport and comment on posts by @heathrow_airport.

On Google+: Use #heathrowairport and comment on posts at the Heathrow page.

On Yelp: Leave a polite one-star review at their Yelp page

On YouTube: Comment on LHRHeathrow's videos and at youtube.com/user/LHRHeathrow/discussion


2. Sign & share the petition

Join us in asking David Cameron to stick to his "No if, No buts" promise and pledge to reject any new runways, at Heathrow or elsewhere.


3. Show solidarity with La ZAD's mobilisation on Saturday 27th February


4. Join the Groundswell year of action for climate justice

If we want real social change, that means taking bold, effective direct action. Reclaim The Power will provide 'out of the box actions', ideas for tools and sites of action, support and training for anyone who wants to build their confidence gradually or save time on action planning.

The Reclaim the Power website will soon have a secure media sharing platform developed for the purpose, which will update participants about others' regular actions, providing inspiration and motivation to work together.

Now the dust from the Paris conference has settled, it’s time to set ourselves a challenge: can we do more for climate justice in one year than UN COP negotiators have achieved in the last twenty one? Get involved by ringing or emailing Reclaim the Power.


5. Share the video


Finally, why not reward yourself and come to Grow Heathrow's 6th birthday party from 4th to 6th March?

Thank you for standing with the Heathrow 13 and saying no to climate-wrecking new runways. Together we can expose who is really guilty here.

Plane Truth book review

Easily one of the most comprehensive reviews of aviations impact on the environment, 'Plane Truth' has all the facts required to destroy the aviation industrys arguments for expansion.

Author Rose Bridger is clear that we cannot have endless aviation expansion by simply creating quieter and more efficient planes. The effect of more efficient planes is minimal at best and profit seeking greenwash at worst. The chapter on alternative fuels is one of the best as Rose proves that alternative fuels such as biofuel and others are both unproven and totally unsustainable.

Despite the introduction of cheaper flights over the last two decades Rose points out that "flight remains the preserve of a small minority, who are, in global terms, affluent" but yet the impact of these emissions has implications for everyone.

Rose picks apart the economic case for expansion by for example looking at the tourism deficit in the UK which highlights how more money actually leaves the UK through aviation than income made from inbound tourists. She also highlights how the aviation industry is one of the most subsidised industrys here in the UK but also in the US and other countries round the world. In the UK aviation pays no VAT and is exempt from paying tax on its fuel.

Do we as a country want to protect lifestyle habits of primarily the rich while devastating efforts to combat climate change in the process? After reading this book the answer to this question is a big fat NO.

The book is available to buy at Pluto Books

Sticker Frenzy - national results now in for 48 hrs of Subvertising

A lot of people had a lot of fun last Thursday and Friday. Folk were out in force from Bristol to Brighton, from the City to Heathrow, Reading to Truro. With Easyjet launching their campaign the day before we struck, the timing couldn't have been better. For those who've been waiting with baited breath, here are the competion winners:

In the Most Creative category the prize must go to team Met for the elegance which is 'Vote Volcano'. The judges were not only impressed by the topicality, and funky raw aesthetic, but also by the innovative use of materials: take out your underground sign, turn it round, draw on the back, pop it back up again.

In the Most Ridiculous category Reading's brilliantly random use of an axe head was cutting edge stuff, but overall the winner must be Brighton for their inspired re-workings of bland pretty women shots and insolent children.

Now the Quantity section, awarded for most individual stickers posted. Team Circle claimed to have posted up over 63 stickers, and while they failed to produce full documentary evidence of this, a return journey by tube proved that their coverage had indeed been spectacularly extensive. However City Crew must claim the laurels for managing to cover both the central London area during the Wide Game, and their own patch independently.

Most Audacious was a tough one. Team Picadilly employed gymnastics to get a sticker on the Total signs at Kings Cross, despite heavy pedestrian traffic. Bristol finished their billboard piece while the billboard next door was being posted up (you can see the official guy's van in the photo). Team Circle got the poster with coppers that greets you as you enter St Pancras station. And City Crew got one on most of the approaching signposts to the airport.

Overall winner in this category must go however to Team Kamikaze, who took on the giant Cathay Pacific billboard opposite Algate East station. As traffic on the A11 patiently watched from the traffic lights, gentlemen dressed as workmen walked along a hardboard fence and stuck up their addition of 'Huge Emmissions' then slipped quietly away into the dawn without incident, despite having to cycle back with a ladder under their arms.

Think you can do better? The season is just beginning, and there are few things as satisfying as the comedy dismantling of millions of pounds worth of advertising. Get out there and stick 'em up.

No Fucking Way

Would you like to give this man the shirt off your back?

BA's Willie Walsh and the other airline bosses want us to bail them out. Possibly to the tune of £20 million for every day of disruption. That's £100 million so far. For an industry that has never paid tax.

They're applying to the EU and national governments, who have apparently already approved a working group on the issue, thought they've generously said that the "European Solidarity Fund" would be the most likely source of support.

At least the banks only screwed over our economy: the airlines are busy screwing over our future and yet when God acts, who do they expect to fork out? Maybe all those teachers who are about to be made redundant, and those patients in wards that are about to close, should try and engineer an earthquake to secure their jobs?

Propping up a sector which is condemning us to runaway climate change would be obscene even if we had the resources to do it. But we don't have the resources to do it, and any government even contemplating giving money to BA & Co. is declaring war on the electorate and public services.

The idea is so mind-bogglingly-laughably-off-the-scale-insane that we can barely believe it's not already been dismissed. Lets be clear about this - We Are Not Happy. We suspect that a lot of other people that have never even thought about aviation before will be quite annoyed too.

Don't imagine any of us will come quietly.

Volcano reminds us all there's life after aviation

Life's full of blissful little ironies. We've plotted and plotted and plotted to ground the aviation industry, only to be pipped to the post by nature. Which is funny when our understanding was that aviation was supposed to wreck the environment, not the environment wreck aviation.

One of the most striking impacts of the last few days without air travel is that not only is the UK much more peaceful with so many stag parties stuck in Prague, but day to day life seems to be carrying on. In fact, huge swathes of people across the country are being treated to a taster of a much better quality of life (although Tesco's is almost out of pre-packed pineapple chunks - oh, the humanity!).

It turns out the UK is actually rather a pleasant place to be when there's not a constant drone of aircraft overhead. Thousands of residents living under the flightpath have suddenly been blessed with a taste of life without being woken up at 4.30am on a daily basis by aeroplanes thundering overhead. Perhaps if we weren't tormented by high levels of noise and air pollution on a daily basis, fewer people would feel the desire to board a plane to leave the country for a break.

We're constantly preached at by the aviation industry about the essential nature of air travel. Like the 'essential' cargo flights from Nottingham East Midlands Airport to transport goods which are now being transported... wait for it... OVERLAND. According to a UPS delivery spokesperson, European roads are actually "very drivable".

So, Eyjafjallajokull, you may have an unpronounceable name and an odd smell, but nonetheless we thank you for giving us a brief glimpse of life without planes. And for demonstrating that, despite what the aviation industry would like to have us believe, a world without air travel could well be a very happy place indeed.

Sticker fun with Plane Stupid

Plane Stupid Towers is delighted to announce our collection of sumptuous stickers. If you are lucky enough to have access to a computer and printer all you'll need is to download the designs from our flickr site and print them out on standard, non divided, A4 sticker paper (available from most printers and stationers).

Ok, so one or two of them are in the tradition of somewhat abraisive satire, but with designs ranging from the cutting edge illustration of Ben Whitehouse, to the classic 'government health warning' label, we hope there's something here for everyone.

In no way are these stickers intended to go on airline adverts, airports, or other places where they might cause people to think about the impact of flying. When going out and about with them we urge you to wrap up warm, making sure you wear a nice hat and scarf for any cctv cameras.

If you happen to see any of our stickers in interesting locations, please take a photo and email it to us, we'd love to compile a gallery.