October 1st: Stay Grounded, Mass Action Against Aviation

stay groundedStay grounded!


Expansion plans at London City Airport have been announced and the government is expected to decide on where to build a new runway, probably at either Heathrow or Gatwick this October. These plans are devastating for local pollution, noise and for climate change.

In solidarity with local and international groups, and in defence of the climate and people all over the world, Reclaim the Power is calling for people to take safe and peaceful action against the aviation industry. Join us for a family-friendly flashmob and critical mass bike block at a London airport on Saturday 1st October.

The exact location is being kept secret, to keep the authorities on their toes – sign up now to receive more information.

Our mass action is just one part of a wave of international action planned to take place around the same time of year. In order for this action to be effective, *we need at least 400 people to take part*. We need to send a strong clear message that we cannot have any new runways in the UK if we are serious about tackling climate change.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GREAT! Here’s what to do next:

1) Add your email address to the pledge platform here:, so that we know when we reach our target of 400, and so that we can let you know more info as it’s revealed. The more people who sign up, the more others will want to join, and the more effective we can be.

2) Get yourself along to one of the info-sharing / legal briefing / action training events, to ensure you are fully prepared to participate. Details of the events can be found here: https:// events/

3) Start thinking about who your affinity group is and what you’re going to bring and wear (see below for suggestions)

4) Join this Facebook event, and share it with all your friend.


This will be a fun, colourful and safe event that everyone is invited to participate in. An action consensus has been agreed to set the safe parameters of this day of action. The health and safety of airport staff, passengers and ourselves are of paramount importance and a top priority, and just in case it is not clear we will not be going on to any runways!

Visually and creatively we will focus on the polluting aviation industry, the affluent minority who are driving the so-called ‘need’ for aviation expansion, and the 300,000+ people who are already suffering from the effects climate change, and who are paying the price for this convenient luxury lifestyle, with their lives.

There will be three main ways that people can participate in the day of action, individually and as part of affinity groups that will have autonomy over how they operate.

will be family-friendly, in a publicly accessible *inside* area. Creative themes (for dressing up) will be:

* The "15%" – the minority of 'flash-the-cash', 'binge’ frequent flyers who we know are driving the so-called ‘need’ for airport expansion in the UK

* The tax man - and the heavy subsidisies to the aviation industry

* A die-in - representing the 300,000+ people who are already dying each year, all over the world, from climate change related causes

* Speech & thought bubbles - to convey the key messages in a creative and clever way

* Red lines – aviation expansion is crossing a red line for a just and liveable planet, and people are paying with their lives (wear red)


will consist of cyclists, and will be in a publicly accessible *outside* area. Creative themes (for dressing up) will be:

* Reimagining the alternatives – what could a future without aviation look like?

(3) Autonomous affinity groups are also invited to take creative action elsewhere, as part of the day of action, adhering to the same action consensus.


After years of delay, the controversial announcement of a new runway at Gatwick or Heathrow is expected this October. It comes just months after the green light was given to expansion at London City Airport, and makes a mockery of our own legally binding commitments for action on climate change. Clearly, more planes means more catastrophic climate change. It is time to fight back.

Air travel is by far the most carbon-intensive form of transport, and is the fastest growing source of carbon emissions. Yet, climate change is still remarkably absent from any discussion around aviation expansion. Moreover, aviation is unbelievably absent from any discussions, agreements and targets around tackling climate change! It was excluded from the Paris Agreement signed by the World's nations at the UN COP21 last December, and is even exempt from the UK's own Climate Change Act 2008. It is an industry that benefits from huge tax subsidies and unprecedented legal and regulatory loopholes, and is threatening the lives of communities both locally and globally, as well as the very planet we all live upon.

More info >>>

#Heathrow13 Trial: Day 1

Today saw the beginning of the #Heathrow13 trial of the thirteen defendants who, on the 13th July 2015, occupied the North runway at Heathrow Airport. In doing so they cancelled 25 flights and saved an estimated 250 tonnes of CO2. In doing so, they argue that they have saved lives in the face of climate chaos. All thirteen are pleading not guilty, as this action was reasonable and justified in the context of climate change.  Climate defence is not an offence!

Solidarity Demo

The day got off to an amazing start. Around 100 supporters came to show solidarity in a demo called for by the national campaign network, Reclaim the Power. The demo began with a statement from the #Heathrow13, in which they explained why their actions were justified. They argued that the effects of climate change due to emissions from aviation are happening now and are being felt locally and globally, predominantly by those in the Global South who have least to do with causing climate change. They also stated that the failed "no ifs, no buts" promise of David Cameron further jeopardises our future. A video of the full statement can be seen here.

In addition to this there was singing from a radical choir, massive inflatable #redlines cobblestones and solidarity banners with international struggles against aviation, such as la Zad in France.

The #Heathrow13, then, proudly entered the court to chants of “No ifs, No Buts, No new runways!”, reminding everybody of David Cameron's previous election promise.

The Day's Proceedings

Inside the court, the day began with a discussion about the expert witness, Alice Bows-Larkin, who is a climate change and aviation expert. Unfortunately, it was decided that she would not be allowed to give evidence in the court. On the plus side, however, this was because Judge Wright declared that the fact that aviation fuel is linked to climate change is indisputable, which is a huge statement for a Judge to make.


Next, the Prosecution put forward their case. This was fairly straightforward, mainly confirming the facts that the 13 activists were: on the runway, created a structure of mesh fencing and a tripod, and that people locked-on to this structure in a variety of different ways in order to prevent as many flights as possible from taking off. A Police video was played in court showing this. Chuckles may have been heard when a polar bear on top of the tripod came into shot. None of these facts are contested by the activists.

The Prosecution then called 2 witnesses: Mr Oxby - Head of Business Resilience, and Mr Thomas - Flow Manager. They mainly gave evidence about the supposed level of disruption caused to the airport. On cross examination, however, it was made clear that despite causing 25 flights to be cancelled, the impact on passengers could not be separated from the effects of weather, nor was it likely that the number of passengers supposedly affected was accurate given that most flights cancelled were short haul and therefore it is likely that passengers could be moved onto later flights.

Mr Oxby claimed that Heathrow airport contributes around £7bn to the UK economy. He was unable to answer, however, if this took into account the negative impacts of climate change, for example, the £5bn cost of the recent floods in the North of England, which scientists from Oxford university say has a 40% probability to have been caused by climate change. Nor could he say if it took into account the cost of
3,000 hospital admissions every year due to London air pollution.

Defendants' Evidence

In the second half of the day, the first two defendants gave their evidence in court. This first began with Ms Ella Gilbert who, having two climate change related degrees, brought the science of climate change into the courtroom – quite literally as the lawyers presented a huge ring-bound folder of peer-reviewed science, which Ms. Gilbert said was only a selection of the most seminal papers which have informed her decision to take part in this action against climate change.

She stated that papers such as the IPCC's 2015 report laid out the science clearly; that the evidence was 'unequivocal' that climate change is 'human induced' and that the recent warming is 'unprecedented'. Thus, the need for radical action.

She further highlighted the impacts of climate change on sea level, the spread of disease, agriculture, and extreme weather – all of which are going to hit the Global South hardest.

She also added that that following the 2008 Climate Change Act it has been recommended that a cap on aviation emissions be set at 2005 levels. However, aviation is the fastest growing source of CO2 in the UK, and we are set to miss the 2050 targets at this rate.

The second defendant to take the stand was Mr Sender, who grew up under the flight path and has lived in the Heathrow villages for around three years. This meant that he has personal first hand knowledge of the impacts of Heathrow on local health, such as the 'Heathrow Cough', the increased levels of asthma and the fact that every Londoner has their life expectancy cut short by two years due to air pollution.

Judge Wright pressed both defendants on why they chose to stop emissions from aviation when other transport such as cars cause a larger amount of CO2 in the UK. It was mentioned, however, that in the area surrounding Heathrow, the majority of traffic is related to the airport and therefore cannot be separated. (Also, perhaps we should also fight roads and cars too – like the Combe Haven Defenders do!).

Both defendants came across as knowledgeable, passionate and reasonable individuals. So much so that Judge Wright repeatedly stated that she had no doubt about the genuine beliefs of the activists in taking this action.

The trial continues tomorrow, in Willesden Magistrates Court, with around seven more defendants giving evidence.

Plane Stupid Germany launch with direct action


On Wednesday 30th June, 15 activists launched Plane Stupid Germany in style as they dropped banners from the town hall of Munich in an act of peaceful civil disobedience. The action appealed to the state capital to stop the planned Munich third runway by a referendum.

The Munich airport is the biggest single threat to the climate in Bavaria. One of the activists involved said:

"In deep concern of what we have built in our lives and in deep concern of the world we will leave to future generations, we have decided to follow the way of civil disobedience. Its not acceptable that the protection of property, health and climate-protection written in the Bavarian constitution, is not valid in Bavaria and it's capital when it comes to a third runway."

Recently leaked news showed that the airport has majorly influenced the referendum with one million euros.

Mass action: The big six energy bash


On May 3rd, the same day as the London Mayoral elections, The Climate Justice Collective will be taking to the streets to block the energy monopoly going on behind closed doors at the UK Energy Summit.

The summit will see companies from the Big Six including EDF, EON, RWE Npower and Scottish Power, as well as oil giants like Shell and BP, conspiring with government to line their pockets at the cost of climate crisis and millions of people locked into fuel poverty. The UK Energy Summit is the wrong people asking the wrong questions and proposing the wrong solutions.

The Big Six energy companies are the obstacle to an energy system that could keep the sea levels down and get the heating on in fuel poverty homes. We want a fair, democratic and clean energy system, not a corporate monopoly - the UK Energy Summit cannot go ahead!

Be in Central London on Thursday 3rd May. Be ready to go at 11am.
Keep an eye out on our Twitter (@CJ_Collective) for updates on meeting points and live and instant action plans.

Facebook Event: