US-Wide Activist Network To Be Set Up To Oppose Aviation Growth
Follows tour the US tried to ban by UK campaigners John Stewart and Dan Glass
A new US-wide activist network is to be set up to oppose the soaring growth of aviation in America. The decision was taken after Americans heard from British campaigners John Stewart and Dan Glass about the success of similar networks in the UK. Stewart and Glass had been skyped into over a dozen events across the US after they were refused entry to America to speak about the successful campaign to stop a third runway at London's Heathrow Airport as part of a nationwide tour organized by Aviation Justice Express (http://aviationjustice.org/).
In controversial circumstances on 29th September, Stewart, voted the UKs most effective environmentalist, had been escorted off the plane at New York's JFK Airport by armed police before being sent back to Britain (http://aviationjustice.org/2011/09/30/john-stewart-barred-from-us/). Glass based himself in Canada where he worked with the communities around Toronto Island Airport.
The tour ended in Vancouver on Saturday 29th October, precisely one month after Stewart had been ordered out of New York, when American activists made a special trip across the border to link up with Dan Glass - and a cardboard model of Stewart!
The new network will bring together local airport community campaigns with climate change activists. It will press for investment in fast, affordable rail and coach systems as viable alternatives to many short distance flights.
Anirvan Chatterjee, one of the organizers of the tour, said, "Current plans for aviation expansion are absolutely unsustainable. The aviation industry accounts for 4.9% of the man-made causes of climate change. If it were a country, it would be one of the top emitters in the world, bigger than Canada or the UK."
John Stewart said, "The tour has forged links across continents that cannot be broken. It will result in ever-closer working between activists in North America and the UK. It is now inconceivable that UK campaigners will not be supporting American communities as they fight proposals for new runways in New York and Philadelphia and the plans for Peotone Airport outside Chicago. We will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Seattle in their battles to deal with aircraft air-and-noise pollution."
For further information:
John Stewart on 0207 737 6641; 07957385650