After last night's picnic flash mob the escalating battle over the proposed third runway at Heathrow Airport in the UK has reached a new level today with Greenpeace taking direct action. They have bought up a small piece of land slap bang in the middle of the site where the runway would be built. With the help of the celebrated British actress Emma Thompson, the comedian Alastair McGowan (pictured above) and Zac Goldsmith, director of The Ecologist Magazine, Greenpeace are trying to create a legal headache for the Government and Heathrow planners. Click over to find out how the Airplot! scheme will work...Is Airplot a Cunning Plan?
Greenpeace's direct action scheme is officially called Airplot! However, whilst speaking on BBC Radio 2 this afternoon the comedian Alistair McGowan, who has put this own money into the purchase of the land, referred to the scheme as "Operation Baldrick". Fans of the classic British TV comedy Blackadder will know that Baldrick's catch phrase was "I've got a cunning plan!" And indeed it seems that Greenpeace does have a cunning plan to derail the planned expansion of Heathrow Airport. Whether in fact, like most of Baldrick's plans, it turns out to be useless remains to be seen.
Heathrow Airport Plot
The gist is this: amazingly, and the Heathrow planners must be wondering how this slipped by unnoticed, Greenpeace have been able to buy up a small piece of land, about half the size of a football pitch, in the middle of the proposed third runway site. They are now appealing to the general public to add their names to the 'Legal Deed of Trust' as 'beneficial owners'. All you have to do is go to the Greenpeace website and sign up.
George Monbiot Gets Fruity
The polemical environmental writer George Monbiot has already become a 'beneficial owner' and intends to take action on the plot of land: "Heathrow was built on the orchards that once supplied London. I'll be doing my bit to restore the site to its proper function by planting an apple tree on the plot. Years hence, when the threat of a third runway is a distant memory, I will send the first box of fruit I harvest from it to Downing Street."
Opposing Airport Expansion
Greenpeace believe that the UK Government is about to give the go ahead for Heathrow's third runway any day now and are extremely concerned not only for the local residents in the area around the airport, but also for the whole of the UK. Once built the third runway will turn Heathrow into the "largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the whole country." Greenpeace say that "As legal owners of this plot we will take the opportunity to oppose airport expansion at every stage in the planning process."
Please tell us what you think of this method of direct action and what you'd like to do with the Airplot land rather than having a new runway built on it.
About the Greenpeace Airplot Owners
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