Greens back Surrey campaigner ahead of sentencing hearing

Local campaigner gets Green and red support for sentencing hearing

 

Green party members from Surrey are supporting anti airport-expansion campaigner, Rob Basto from Reigate, at his court hearing next Wednesday (February 24).

Rob is one of the Heathrow 13 who face an unprecedented threat of a jail sentence for trespassing at Heathrow last July. The campaigners, who are part of campaigns group ‘Plane Stupid’, are due to be sentenced at Willesden Magistrates Court in London.

 

Everyone attending the protest to mark the court hearing has been asked to wear red to show a red-line is being crossed.

 

“Sending people to prison for trying to protect a safe climate is crossing a red line”, said Surrey Green Councillor Jonathan Essex. “The Heathrow 13 took part in a peaceful protest and now we must stand by them as they face the ultimate sanction available to the courts. Opposing airport expansion because of its impacts on the climate shouldn’t be a crime worthy of a jail sentence”.

 

Keith Taylor, Member of the European Parliament for the South East said:

 

With their protest actions at Heathrow airport, which is Britain’s second largest source of CO2 emissions, the Plane Stupid campaigners address one of the biggest climate change and air pollution threats in this country.

 

“Despite the devastating air pollution track record at the UK’s largest airport, our Government continues to entertain the idea of airport expansion in the South East, while at the same time breaking its climate change target promises made in Paris only last year.

 

“In my view, the wrong people are being prosecuted - we should be looking to the polluters who are endangering our health and welfare, and not those who seek to expose them for what they are - climate vandals.” 

 

Green Party activists from the South East and London will be at the court on Wednesday morning with their giant “no new runways” banner.  All are welcome to join in at 9am.

 

Ends

 

For more information and for interview requests please contact emma.leigh@greenparty.org.uk

 

Notes:

 

1)      The peaceful demonstration will take place next Wednesday 24th February at 9am, outside Willesden Magistrates Court, 448 High St, Willesden, London. Green spoksepeople will be available for interview.

2)      Information about the ‘Heathrow 13’ case: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/25/heathrow-climate-protesters-found-guilty-of-aggravated-trespass

3)      Cross-party letter regarding this case: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/11/prison-sentences-for-heathrow-13-activists-would-threaten-our-right-to-protest

 


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