On Travel Costs and Demonising the Protestors

I would love to have been at Heathrow sometime over the course of this weekend to join the Camp for Climate Change protesters but upon checking out rail fares, as was to be expected (and as is one of my many gripes about public transport), the cheapest rail fare I could get for me and my two littlies from where I live in the North West down to Heathrow was a staggering £143 !!  I can’t afford that!  

A coach trip would set me back by £84.  Nope, my budget won’t stretch to that either.

Ironically, it’s almost cheaper to get there by flying but you can see the hypocrisy if I chose to fly down.  I wouldn’t anyway but that’s beside the point.  You can get BA flights to London from £35 so basically, it often costs us less to emit more.

I’m sure there must have been some local travel arrangements but I couldn’t find any information on the campaign website. 

Anyway, the camp – apparently, police officers are using the terrorism laws to stop-and-search some people going to the camp.  This really is a ludicrous attempt to intimidate and aggravate.  The camp protest has been organised openly acamp-for-climate-change.jpgnd honestly and the protesters are clearly not terrorists.

It’s really frustrating that the police and the airport officials are making concerted efforts to demonise the protesters.  Throwing exaggerated words like ‘eco-zealots’, ‘extremists’, ‘hoax bomb’, ‘hijack’, ‘plots’ and ‘mayhem’ is really nothing but scare tactics – police and media propaganda in order to create anti-public feeling towards the protesters and, in the case of the media, to predictably sensationalise.  There have been no furtive plots to take over the airport, no stealth tactics in a bid to cause mayhem.  The camp website, with all the information needed, is there on the internet for all to see. 

And the pilots – they are saying they’ve made several requests to hold proper discussions (“peace talks”) with the protestors abut the aviation industry’s role in climate change.  They say that the protesters are unwilling to meet with them and that it’s wrong to pick on the aviation industry alone.  The protesters say they will meet with them after the camp is over.  And the pilot’s victim-playing is misguided because the campaign isn’t just targeting them.  They chose Heathrow this year because of its plans to build another runway and because air travel is the fastest growing source of CO2 emissions but last year they set up camp outside Drax power station.  The campaign’s ultimate aim is to expose and fight against the root causes of climate change and demand that our leaders take the action needed rather than pander to big business.

Good luck to the camp.  And thanks.


6 responses to this post.

  1. hi earthie,

    what is important is for the protestors to stay within the law and
    to be vigilant that no one sabotage their peaceful protest.

    being @ heathrow,
    they are in the focus of the international community,
    if they get this wrong, it can only undermine the credibility of future protests.


  2. Yo earthpal

    One day you’ll get down here to London for a protest; mixed in with a little sight seeing & shopping of course! We aim to please here in the capital. 🙂

    I’m against a third runway because of the increasing plane noise over North London so, yes go protestors; throw sink bombs at the BBA executives!


  3. … that should read ‘stink bombs’ 🙂 Ya know, kidz stuff.


  4. Little Indian, absolutley. The protest was much smaller than expected and have been no disruptions for the holiday-makers etc. but the great thing is that it has been given huge publicity. The media and the authorities, with all their scare tactics, have inadvertently given wide exposure to the protest hence the issue.
    Matty, I know! I did attend a couple of demo’s in Hyde park back in the days when I was uncommitted with no responsibilities. My kids have never been to London and one of them is very indignant that she hasn’t seen the capital city of her own country!


  5. OMG! Your kids have never been to London. I … don’t … believe … it!! That’s committing a cultural crime!


  6. I know Matt. Bad isn’t it. I’d rather go North myself but I will endeavour to take them to London soon.


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