Here’s a doozy for you: on Wednesday, the aviation industry is taking five million people – including a lot of their own staff – to court. If you’re a member or supporter of a group that’s concerned about climate change, the chances are you’re a defendant too.
The industry seems to want to ban five million of us from Heathrow and all routes to the airport, including the Piccadilly line, parts of the rail network, and sections of the M25 and M4.
In three weeks’ time, the Camp for Climate Action is due to gather near Heathrow to peacefully protest against Heathrow’s vast contribution to climate change (the airport’s planes emit more greenhouse gases than many individual countries) and its planned third runway expansion.
The owner of Heathrow, the British Airports Authority (BAA), seems to be, frankly, terrified.
It’s seeking an injunction, which names as defendants “all persons acting as members, participants or supporters” of anti-aviation group Plane Stupid, anti-noise group HACAN and AirportWatch. The injunction is to stop people from setting foot on Heathrow and “the arterial infrastructure serving” it.
The umbrella of organizations covered by the injunction is huge and it’s membership of 5,000,000+ includes the Queen and Prince Charles. At first it appears that the BAA didn’t do their homework and couldn’t possibly mean to ban that many people (a sizeable number of BAA employees would be included in the ban), but…
… ‘a source’ who’s spoken to BAA has just told us that BAA is deliberately making the ban as broad as possible, and leaving it up to the police to apply it with common sense. Which means, if BAA wins, the police will have the right to stop you, me or Her Maj from, say, getting on “all railway trains and carriages operating upon the Piccadilly line”…