On Saturday volunteers from Birmingham Friends of the Earth along with members of university and other social justice groups rode down the A45 from the council house in Victoria Square to Birmingham International Airport in protest at the council’s plans to spend £16m on moving this road in order for the airport’s runway extension to go ahead.
The weather was foul, but with a mobile sound system towed along providing spirit-lifting tunes we made the journey together reclaiming the road from traffic in a critical mass of cyclists all dressed in climate code red.
Birmingham Friends of the Earth are challenging the legality of the council’s decision to give state aid to the airport for this project, propping up an already feather-bedded industry that does not reflect the environmental costs of its actions in its prices. The privacy surrounding the decisions to give this money to help the airport suggests that the council has doubts about the legality of its actions and does not want to release any documents revealing the details of any arrangements.
We are not prepared to let this go unchallenged and with the new government ruling out expansion at Heathrow, we expect Birmingham to become the new frontier for fighting avaition expansion. The airport has already positioned itself as an alternative to Heathrow in the past and was quick to do so again following the election.
Thanks you to all the others who came along on Saturday for this peaceful, lawful protest, which even the police came and thanked us for at the end of the day.
Links to other blogs on the subject can be found below: