Climate and Ecological Emergency Independents Campaign
Diary Post no 2 – Please share.
Public Statement: Heathrow Pause
‘Picnic and Drone Session’ at Heathrow Airport in London on 22 May 2019.
This video is from three EU election candidates’ press conference at Heathrow Airport:
The EU candidates were going to organise the ‘picnic and drone session’ on the day before the EU election day at Heathrow Airport, but have since decided to move the date forward so that Extinction Rebellion and other networks can get involved.
“We call on the UK government to act to protect the public and make a decision to call off the proposed third runway at Heathrow. We will call off the picnic and drone session if we receive a serious assurance before next Wednesday that the government will act upon Parliament’s recent declaration of the climate and environmental emergency and cancel the project. In this new political context it is impossible for the government to continue with this development at Heathrow – what would be the most carbon intensive infrastructure project in Europe.”
Extinction Rebellion cofounder Roger Hallam posted the following explanation on his Facebook page:
Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Independent EU election MEP Candidates, Roger Hallam, Larch Maxey, Andrew Medhurst and Henry Muss are calling for Heathrow Airport to pause all flights on 22 May so that Londoners can consider their responsibilities towards our young people on the day before the elections.
“As CEE candidates we are inviting Londoners to come to our picnic and drone session in the fields next to Heathrow Airport. We are specifically inviting the leaders and public figures in the political parties in this election to join us to show that this crisis is both beyond politics and requires all politicians to take emergency direct action.
We are asking the Heathrow Authorities to undertake their duty of care and close the airport on the day the drone session and picnic takes place. We sincerely apologise to passengers who are inconvenienced by this action and are giving a week’s notice of our actions so that the disruption can be minimized and alternative plans can be made.
We are holding this action as an open act of peaceful civil disobedience, personal conscience, and legal necessity. We cannot stand aside and allow the continued extinction of the natural world and the imminent death from starvation of our children. We have a firm basis in English common law that our actions are justified as an act of necessity: to intervene and cause disruption as long as it is proportionate to preventing a much greater disruption.
As the recent unanimous not guilty verdict at Southwark Crown Court of Roger Hallam and David Durrant for criminal damage aimed at encouraging fossil fuel divestment shows, a jury of ordinary Londoners clearly understood that civil disobedience which prevents harm is both necessary and justified. Indeed, there is now a strong case that those in authority who attempt to prevent such acts of essential harm reduction could themselves be open to prosecution. When the house is on fire the normal rules don’t apply: it’s not a crime to break a window to save those inside.
This new legal reality is based upon common sense. It is now an indisputable scientific fact that we are in a dire Emergency and that inaction by politicians and state authorities constitutes a crime against humanity. The global warming created by carbon emissions is rapidly melting the polar ice, which serves as the earth’s air conditioning system. This will lead to ever greater weather chaos and thus a catastrophic global food emergency in a matter of years. We face the imminent collapse of our civilization, as David Attenborough has predicted unless emergency action is taken immediately. The very continuation of the British state and society is at stake.
In this context we call on the UK government to act to protect the public and make a decision to call off the proposed third runway at Heathrow. We will call off the picnic and drone session if we receive a serious assurance before next Wednesday that the government will act upon Parliament’s recent declaration of the climate and environmental emergency and cancel the project. In this new political context it is impossible for the government to continue with this development at Heathrow – what would be the most carbon intensive infrastructure project in Europe.
We apologise again to all who stand to be inconvenienced by our action, but humbly ask that they understand that this relatively minor disruption is justified compared with the enormity of the disruption and the unimaginable suffering we face if we continue business as usual. We take this action to give a hearing to those who have no voice in our society – the generation who cannot yet vote but who stand to lose their future and the many millions in the Global South who are already suffering from our immoral insistence that we can put carbon into the atmosphere simply because we have the money and power to do so.
The universal moral law is to do unto others what you would have them do unto you. Never has this law been broken in such a blatant and clear way by our continuing to pollute the atmosphere with carbon emissions. We can stand by no longer. Our conscience dictates that we act to prevent ruinous harm. We act out of necessity to protect our children. We do not intend to go extinct.
For further information about taking part email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.”
→ More about the EU election candidates on www.climateemergencydeclaration.org/eu