On Monday 12th January “picnics” were held in the Departure Lounges of both Heathrow and Manchester Airports. This it to mark the Government’s imminent announcement on a Third Runway at Heathrow, and airport expansion generally. (It is widely expected that the Government will approve the runway. Business and Trades Unions want it. Environmentalists and most locals don’t.)
The event had been announced quite sometime ago, and was not a “flashmob” or unannounced action like the October 2007 “arm-tube” blockage of a domestic departures lounge by a group of Manchester Climate Action/Plane Stupid activists.
In Manchester there were approximately 40 people sitting down (the BBC said 50, but they’re not noted for their focus on facts when it comes to climate change), there were at least 70 officers of Her Majesty’s Greater Manchester Constabulary, kindly facilitating the protest. There were also a fair sprinkly of Manchester Airport management in attendance. There were picnic hampers, dancing and general merriment.
The event was hosted in the most out-of-the-way part of the Departure Lounge that could be found, away from curious travellers’ eyes. Entry was by ticket only- the GMP had kindly volunteered to act as door staff, and took an extraordinary number of photos as mementos.
It lasted an hour or so, with the advertised string quartet making a welcome appearance.
There was one arrest. MCFly’s reporter was not there to witness that, but is reliably informed that the individual in question had to make very very strenuous efforts in order to be detained.
A longer report/analysis on this event will follow.