road protests 1997
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Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 15:58:42 +0100
From: Road Alert!
We have received a request for support from the groups that are
opposing the building of a second runway at Manchester Airport.
At the moment evictions of the action camps are taking place.
The Coalition Against Runway 2 (CAR2) asks groups all over
Europe to send a protest letter to Mr. John Prescott, the new
labour Minister for Environment and Transport.
In this fax/email you will find background material about the
activities of CAR2 and a sample for a protest letter, to be
send to Mr. Prescott.
We hope that as many of you as possible will react to this
request. At the 'Right Price for Air Travel' Seminar, March
this year, we agreed that groups in different countries should
start supporting each others' struggles. This is one of the
first opportunities to do so.
If you send any protest letters, please inform CAR2 and FoE
Netherlands about this. You can reach them under these
FoE Netherlands, Paul de Clerck, tel: 31-20-6221366, fax: -
6275287 or email@example.com
Coalition Against Runway 2, Colin Howden, tel: 44 161 8348221,
fax: 8348187 or
Paul de Clerck
Resist Manchester Airport's Second Runway: Fax action on
The Coalition Against Runway 2 (CAR2) was formed to oppose the
construction of the proposed second runway at Manchester
Airport. CAR2 comprises environmental groups such as Manchester
Friends of the Earth, Earth First!, the Green Party and local
residents' groups, and individuals from round the UK who also
realise how destructive Manchester Airport PLC's plans are.
Manchester Airport PLC was given permission by the British
Environment and Transport ministers in January this year to go
ahead with the construction of a second runway. If the runway
is constructed, it will be the most environmentally-damaging
development the North West of England has seen this century.
More than twice as much land as was ruined by the notorious
Newbury Bypass road-building project will disappear under a
three-kilometre long runway.
The impact of the proposed runway will affect not just the land
to be destroyed and enclosed, but also extends across the
surrounding regions, and indeed worldwide. The proposed
increase in flights will lead to more road traffic, and as a
result more road-building; the stone required for construction
of the runway will lead to destruction of other land through
quarrying; the runway itself will be accompanied by further
damaging and unsustainable out-of-town retail and office
developments on surrounding greenbelt land. All will lead to
further increases in air and noise pollution for surrounding
Air transport generated by the expansion of Manchester Airport
will also have more far-reaching effects adding to ozone
depletion and climate change. One recent study has estimated
that if the Airport grows as planned, carbon dioxide emissions
from the Airport by the year 2020 could exceed emissions from
all other sources in the regional catchment area. Recent
studies have also suggested that proposed new generations of
supersonic airliners could have serious implications for
In late January a series of protest camps were set up on the
route of the proposed runway. Defences such as treehouses,
lock-ons and tunnel systems were constructed, with up to 150
people staying at the camps. The response of the 'Forces of
Darkness' has been to encircle the camps with a seven-foot
security fence surrounded by private security guards, in a show
of intimidation never seen before at an environmental protest
site. A series of actions have also been carried out such as
disrupting the celebration dinner the Airport held, while one
weekend much of the security fencing mysteriously fell down. A
number of protest marches and fundays were also arranged, while
most of the UK's media believed our April Fool joke that one protester
was to stand for Parliament, on a Never Mind the Ballots'
The evictions of the camps began in the early hours of May
20th. At the time of writing (June 4th) all of the treehouses
on route had been cleared from the camps 'Zion Tree', 'Ewok
Tree Village/Jimi Hendrix', 'Wild Garlic', 'Sir Cliff Richard
OBE Vegan Revolution Penguin Evolution', 'River Rats' and
'Flywood', leaving behind the biggest tunnel system yet
constructed at an environmental protest site, the 'Cakehole'
tunnel at Flywood camp. So far its four occupants have been
down the tunnel for five days, just two days off the record for
underground protesting so far set at the A30 road
protest earlier this year. We are of the opinion that the
Cakehole is near-unevictable.
The tunnellers' first demand was for an aviation fuel tax in
order to make aviation reflect the cost it imposes upon the
environment. The campaign against Manchester Airport's
development plans will continue even after the tunnellers
emerge: in Britain, air transport is at last being recognised
as the environmental problem. CAR2 is now calling for a halt to
the construction of the second runway pending the long-needed
sustainable transport system review that the new Labour
government has promised.
Please send a fax to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who
now heads both the Transport and the Environment Departments,
calling for a halt to the second runway until the Government
has produced a Sustainable National Aviation Policy. We'd like
you to send your fax coming Monday, but anytime over the next
week will still do as well. Please inform us what responses you
John Prescott's fax number is 44 171-8904399.
A sample letter might read something this:
From: Your organisations name and address
To: Minister of Environment and Transport
Mr. J. Prescott
Fax: 44 171-8904399
Re: Manchester Airport's Proposed Second Runway
Place and date
Dear Mr Prescott,
We have been informed about the protest made against the
proposals for a second runway at Manchester Airport. We are
concerned about the destructive development plans of Manchester
Airport PLC, and write in support of the protestors' actions.
We are writing to call a halt to the proposed second runway.
It is clear that the impact of this development not only
threatens the environment of the North West of Engeland, but
due to the global impacts of aviation, the environment in our
country as well. We have also been informed about the fact that
the United Kingdom hasn't yet produced a Sustainable National
Aviation Policy. Given the growing environmental impact of air
traffic, we think that such a policy should be established
before any further expansion plans are undertaken.
Air traffic is currently being subsidized by governments in
several direct and indirect ways. There is f.i. no excise duty
on kerosine, no VAT on tickets and hardly any environmental
costs are internalised in the price of a ticket. In accordance
with what EU Transport Commissionaire, Mr. Neil Kinnock, has
recently emphasized again, air traffic must assume its share of
the external costs.
We would ask you to confirm two points to us by return:
(1) that as matter of urgency you will call a halt to the
second runway, prior to the implementation of a coherent
Sustainable National Aviation Policy for the UK.
(2) the last Conservative government promised at a Climate
Change conference in Geneva last summer to support and campaign
for the introduction of a tax on aviation fuel. We would like
to know if your government is willing to support such a tax on
a European level as well.
We look forward to your reply
road protests 1997
| road protests (current)
| movement links