The South East Green Party has welcomed a court decision not to send 13 climate-change protesters to jail for campaigning against aviation expansion. Protestors, including Rob Basto from Surrey, were found guilty of chaining themselves to a runway at Heathrow Airport last summer, and have been given suspended sentences.
Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England said:
I'm delighted to hear that the judge has seen sense and will not be sending the Heathrow 13, including a constituent of mine Rob Basto, to jail today. 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.
This is a triumph for justice and a huge relief for these individuals. But in my view, the wrong people are being victimised in this case - 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.”
Surrey County Councillor Jonathan Essex said:
“This verdict is good news. A decision to send these remarkable protesters to jail would have been completely unjust. Building new runways – whether at Heathrow, Gatwick or anywhere else for that matter, will only exacerbate deadly climate change, whilst destroying local environments and continuing to pollute the air we breathe. In the absence of much-needed action by our Government to prevent catastrophic climate change, it has fallen to citizens such as the ‘Heathrow 13’ to fight this cause, and their actions can only be commended.”
Information on the verdict, here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/24/heathrow-13-climate-change-protesters-avoid-jail
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