Hundreds of activists are currently blocking a departure gate at Heathrow Airport in England. The group is protesting the planned third runway at the airport, which is expected to be approved by the government this week.
The peaceful act of civil disobedience was organized by Climate Rush, the same group that shut down Parliament when they rushed the building in October. In addition to environmental activists, residential neighbors to the airport have been vocal in their opposition to the third runway.
The action began at 7 pm (2 pm EST) when hundreds flocked to the departure gate and sat down in the middle of the floor and unpacked their food. Musicians from the guerrilla group ARTPORT are entertaining the crowd. They’re expected to stay seated in the airport for several hours.
Airlines warned passengers to expect delays from the protest, which was announced in advance. BAA, the owners of Heathrow, sent threatening letters to the organizers of the event.
Last month, Heathrow was targeted by a group called Plane Stupid, which took a more radical approach and physically blocked the runway. Twenty-two activists were arrested and recently convicted, and airline Ryanair have announced their intention to sue over 50 activists for lost profits incurred by being forced to cancel 57 flights.
Check back for updates on the current Heathrow blockade.
The BBC has a video of the protest. Police estimate the crowd the be 250 strong.
“This is our last chance to tell our government that they are making a big mistake,” a spokesman for Climate Rush told the BBC. “If the government pushes ahead with their disastrous plans they are going to be met with peaceful but determined public protests on an unprecedented level.”
>> Read more about the continued effort to block Heathrow’s third runway:
- ‘Plane Stupid’ Climate Activists Block Runway at UK Airport
- Heathrow Airport’s wickedly sinister legal move against five million people
- How You Can Buy Part of Greenpeace’s Heathrow Plot
- Greenpeace Buys Land Planned for UK Airport Expansion