Well, well, well, what a bloody surprise – the police, government authorities and the multi-million pound business that is BAA are using every dirty trick in the book (many of those tricks were added in recent years by Blair’s junta ‘to protect us’) to gag the climate protest camp at Heathrow Airport. Anyone who has been following the pre-amble to this will not be surprised – sites like Boing Boing have been following the attempts by BAA ahead of the camp to try and pre-emptively gag them and keep them away so no-one sees their protest about the impact of ever-increasing air travel on the environment (not just the pollution in the air, Heathrow is still physically expanding and devouring more land, creating more noise for local residents and if a new runway goes ahead more than likely there will be compulsory purchases of people’s homes as they are forced out to make way for it).
“With the current terrorism threat, keeping Heathrow safe and secure is a very serious business. Any action taken by the protesters that distracts us or the police from this task is irresponsible and unlawfu.” Mark Bullock from BAA Heathrow. Methinks Mr Bullock is talking bollocks.
So in effect we have a big player in a business which is causing massive amounts of continuing and growing damage to the environment using very dodgy laws to try and stop people protesting the impact that industry is having, at the connivance of the police who are happy to employ very shady anti-terror laws to try and intimidate protesters from turning up and to harass them if they do. I’d guess this also means the usual method of police intelligence (if that isn’t a contradiction in terms) units filming people protesting so they can identify them and build a file – can’t have people thinking they have the right to freedom of expression and protest in a democracy, can we? This is exactly the sort of heavy-handed action folks like comedian Mark Thomas have been protesting (Mark did a great Radio 4 show which exposed and ridiculed the laws Blair brought in to make legitimate protest in and around Westminster and the seat of government, laws supposedly to protect us but rather obviously there to protect twisted politicians).
Yeah, I know, some of you might be thinking, so what, bunch of eco-hippes, get a job. And maybe for some of them you might be right. But even if you don’t agree with their views on the environment (and there are a lot of people who still insist humans have no influence on global warming, it’s all nature – these folks remind me of the shagwits who all through the 70s said “there’s no scientific evidence smoking harms you”) then think about the continuing implications of the actions of the police, BAA and the government. Think about the fact that very dodgy laws rushed through without proper consultation or analysis in the House to cope with ’emergencies’ sparked by the War On Terror (WOT?) are again being used to stop British citizens exercising their fundamental right to freedom of speech and to protest. Those are absolutely critical to any democratic society; people fought and died to preserve those rights and here we have a corrupt government that has abused serious global events to push through laws which can be employed in any bloody way they want to try and minimise dissent (and oh the irony of this being a government which says it is leading the world in tackling climate change). Regardless of your views on what the protesters are saying that should worry us all.