Wed, 4 Nov 2015
Protestors highlight air pollution as Davies faces MPs
Protestors Dying For Clean Air Anti-runway protestors turned up at Westminster to give Sir Howard Davies (Former Chairman of the Airports Commission) and John Holland-Kaye (CEO of Heathrow Airport Ltd) an unexpected welcome when they arrived to give evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on 4th November.
Many of the protestors were wearing distinctive green T-shirts with the slogan "Dying for Clear Air" and had assorted air pollution face protectors. They were joined by Hayes and Harlington MP and Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell who was among those interviewed for BBC London News.
John McDonnell MP joins protestors by the statue of Sir Winston Churchill
The protestors included representatives from many groups including HACAN, SHE, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Grow Heathrow, Prospect Union and affected areas such as Chiswick, Hounslow, Colnbrook and Hammersmith.
Protestors from many areas gathered at Westminster
Protests of this nature are designed to raise awareness of the issues surrounding airport expansion and aim to cause minimal disruption to the public. Police spoke to organisers and were aware that protestors intended to be peaceful (bar the odd "No Ifs, No Buts, No Third Runway" chant) and would respect instructions such as not to accidentally block steps.
Our police officers deserve to breathe clean air too.
Passers by and workers, even Police, appreciated that the protest was to raise awareness of the poor air quality around Heathrow and in London. Heathrow bosses refuse to accept that any road traffic outside of the airport and the resultant pollution is a consequence of people travelling to and from the airport by road and the increasing number of airport-related freight vehicles.
Residents determined to ensure Davies and Holland-Kaye get the message
Temporary railings were protecting the entrance to the building, as were over a dozen good-natured police officers with police vans parked nearby. Not surprisingly, none were needed and even a shower of rain couldn't dampen the high spirits of those taking part. Police seemed far more concerned about a student protest that was heading to Parliament.
The Environmental Audit Committee was sitting in the Thatcher Room at the House of Commons and a small number of campaigners where allowed to attend to see John Holland-Kaye and Matt Gorman from Heathrow and Sir Howard Davies of the Airports Commission give their evidence.
The hearing can be seen on Parliamentlive tv or take a short cut and read the key points on the Stop Heathrow Expansion Twitter account.