This week's been busy for me, what with two demonstrations on two different campaigns. After the protest outside the Japanese Embassy, it was the Department of Transport's turn to welcome us. The government wasn't listening when we said NO to Heathrow's third runway last month. So this morning, we flashmobbed the Department of Transport and launched paper planes saying ‘NO AIRPORT EXPANSION' at transport secretary Ruth Kelly's office.
A good fifty of us gathered around at 11am and all you could see was folks in red 'STOP AIRPORT EXPANSION' t-shirts from the Terminal 5 flashmob a few months ago. The police announced that our 'protest' was unlawful as it was not in accordance with the requirements of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. But a flashmob is a large group of people who assemble in a public place, what's not to say that we were tourists marvelling at the Department of Transport building?
But it was definitely a protest when we launched our paper planes at the Department of Transport and the Police who stood as guards around the building came under their attack. It was like a scene from a medieval battle but with paper planes instead of arrows. Someone even built a giant paper plane with 'NO AIRPORT EXPANSION' written on it which was launched at the peak of the plane throwing. A round target was built with Ruth Kelly's portrait on it to be used as an aim where all the paper planes were crammed after the action. The protest was organized in association with a number of environmental groups opposed to building of the third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow.
We tried to present the giant paper plane and the Ruth Kelly target as souvenirs to the Department but they refused to accept it and barred all doors to the building. Perseverance finally prevailed when the police saw that we had no intention of leaving without delivering our 'present' to Ruth Kelly so they opened the door and allowed the Department of Transport to accept it. On all those paper planes are messages written by each one of us saying why building the third runway at Heathrow is wrong. I hope Ruth Kelly reads those messages and listens to the people rather than to BAA and BA who, lets face it, are not keen to let environmental issues stand in the way of their shareholders' profits.