15 arrested in Heathrow Airport expansion protest

Protesters hold a sign at a demonstration against the expansion of London's Heathrow airport, at which 15 people were arrested. Some protesters lay on the ground in front of oncoming traffic and locked themselves together, causing a brief disruption on Saturday. Photo by Radical Action/Twitter

LONDON, Nov. 19 (UPI) — Police in Britain arrested 15 people involved in a protest against the government’s decision to expand Heathrow Airport.

Protesters obstructed traffic on the M4 spur road, when they blocked oncoming vehicles, the Telegraph reported.

“There have been 15 arrests for obstructing the highway and public order offences. Officers remain on scene,” a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

Protesters from the environmental organisation Rising Up! also protested by locking themselves together to block a road near the airport, according to the BBC.

“The government’s decisions to expand Heathrow, despite mass opposition from local residents and the fact that doing so is incompatible with the UK’s own laws on climate change, leaves us with no morally acceptable option but to resist,” a Rising Up! spokesman said.

Other protesters held signs reading “Heathrow expansion will destroy thousands of homes” and “Protect the planet, no more runways,” while some chanted “No ifs, no buts, no third runway.”

A spokeswoman for Heathrow said the airport expansion would not hinder the U.K.’s plans to combat climate change.

“Independent analysis by the Airports Commission has found that building and operating an additional runway at Heathrow is compatible with the U.K. meeting its long-term climate change reduction targets,” she said. “The Independent Committee on Climate Change has also shown that a 60 percent growth in passenger numbers in the United Kingdom can be achieved within the UK’s climate change targets.”


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