, 27 January 2016, Tags:
"We do not have the ability to lobby government in the same way that these huge corporations can…
"…The people of Lancashire who are set to have several fracking operations commence in their communities do not have the kind of money to donate to as the major hedge funders…
"Disabled People Against Cuts do not have the kind of preferential access to Chancellor George Osborne as his best man Peter Davies does, whose hedge fund made $51 million from the selling off of Royal Mail.”
This is Mel. She is a friend and fellow member of the local Greens. We’ve made elderflower champagne together, and she was terribly accommodating to my daughter’s enthusiastic stirring. She’s been told to expect a custodial sentence for something she did last summer: she and twelve others obstructed the runway at Heathrow. Their defence: this action was essential to save lives. The airport is contributing to life-threatening climatic changes and its continued push for expansion is inhumane to local residents and environmentally destructive to those at the sharp end of climate change. PlaneStupid say: “The fact that expansion is still being considered at all is a testament to the superiority of corporate lobbying over democracy and scientific evidence.”
Mel says: “Our action was a carefully considered, minimum possible response to the total political failure to deal with an issue of colossal international importance: climate change. In these circumstances, every citizen has a responsibility to act.” As Jamie says in his article, Mel’s lovely. Sweet, friendly, happy to humour my 5-year-old.
Another of the 13 is described as an ‘M+S Dad’…
This year I happened upon the plaque of Emily Wilding Davison at Epsom Racecourse. Mel said in court: ‘protest beyond the law is essential to democracy, Madam, that’s why you’re a judge, because of the efforts of the suffragettes.’ And it got me thinking about that plaque.
We’re all pretty much of the opinion that women deserve a vote these days. But it seems to take a customary amount of time after direct action for everyone to admit you had a point. If we wait the usual amount of time we seem to need to before we accept that this was the right action, it will be too late.
“We have no regrets. The fact that the government are planning to build new runways when we urgently need to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions beggars belief. 2016 is to be a year of climate action and we urge people to take action. The climate movement is ready to stand by activists that take principled action.”
Thanks, Mel, and Rob, and everyone.