Heathrow airport is going to court next week in an attempt to ban environmental campaigners from the airport, parts of the rail network and sections of the M25 and M4 motorways. The ban aims to shut down a planned peaceful protest against the expansion of Heathrow airport from 14-21 August 2007.
Heathrow Airport Ltd (part of BAA) have applied for an incredibly broad injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act, which aims to ban members and supporters of the umbrella organisation AirportWatch from setting foot on named locations in and around London if they are intending to take part in the Climate Camp protest. AirportWatch is a coalition of groups including Friends of the Earth, the National Trust, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Woodland Trust.
There will be a hearing on Wednesday 1 August 2007. Friends of the Earth’s Rights & Justice Centre is acting for AirportWatch and other campaign groups in relation to this application for an injunction.
It is an important legal case because of the effect that it could have on legitimate protest in relation to aviation and climate change.
Friends of the Earth’s Director Tony Juniper said:
“This heavy handed attempt to stifle protest shows how out of touch they are about people’s concerns about climate change. The application for an injunction should be stopped and the aviation industry should scale down its proposals for airport expansion at Heathrow and across the UK. A strong climate change law which includes aviation would help address these concerns.”