Protesters stage "Die-In" at Terminal 5 - Sunday 10th May 2015
Around 50 protesters took part in a 'die in' at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 on Sunday afternoon to draw attention to the Supreme Court Ruling about the failure to meet air quality targets and Sir Howard Davies’ decision to re-open the consultation on airport expansion to include more public comment on air pollution.
The first protest was held in International Arrivals, where a small group of protesters stood silently in anti-particulate face masks and green T-shirts saying 'Dying For Clean Air'. To conclude the protest many of those involved fell to the ground to illustrate their point.
A second protest was held in Terminal 5 Departures on the third floor. Passengers who arrived to check in for their flights were immediately confronted by people lying, as if dead, by the ticket machines. Bizarrely most of the passengers treated this sight as an everyday occurrence and simply steered their luggage trollies around the bodies. A few passengers politely asked what was going on and were extremely interested in events that had led people, young and old, to take this action.
Many tourists were taking photographs and filming but few seemed to know anything about plans for a third runway at Heathrow or issues around air pollution. On learning some of the facts about the proposals to increase flights and increase road traffic, even foreign tourists were keen to know how they could help.
Sadly you will always get some airport users who couldn’t care less about anyone but themselves. One man in Arrivals stood arrogantly surrounded by prostrate protesters. When asked why he was deliberately ignoring the protesters at his feet, he explained that he wanted airport expansion as he felt it was good for business. However, he had not looked into the matter. He lives in Croydon, works in the City, has a wife who enjoys foreign travel and apparently has children who may benefit from a job at the airport yet he would never consider living near Heathrow.
Why would he want to buy a home near the pollution and noise generated by Heathrow when he can live miles away and just add to the problem with his car? It’s so easy to support airport expansion when you have absolutely no interest in anyone else. You just join the traffic on the motorway and forget about the people whose lives will be prematurely shortened by the toxic air they are forced to breathe.