PRESS RELEASE: Luton residents lodge colourful protest against airport expansion

For immediate release

The Luton branch of Extinction Rebellion (XR Luton) have raised their objections to Luton Airport’s growth plans in colourful fashion. Protesters attended the latest consultation on the plans dressed as elephants, the grim reaper, air stewardesses and airport ground crew. Facts about the climate impact of aviation were displayed on boards outside the venue.

Attendees at the consultation, held at St Francis Church, were not prevented from viewing the display boards or talking to consultants. However, the protests were hard to miss. Starting with protestors in costume, XR Luton moved on to massed ranks of ground controllers signalling planes to halt and switch off their engines. The protest culminated with a die-in, with protestors lying on the floor of the venue.

Luton Airport’s current proposal calls for a doubling in passenger numbers, from 16 to 32 million passengers a year. XR Luton say that in an age of climate crisis, this is irresponsible, especially since Britain is committed to reducing emissions to net zero by 2050. It would also bring a huge rise in noise pollution, air pollution and traffic, as well as building over Wigmore Park.

“Looking around the exhibition space, it’s as if climate change isn’t happening” says Jeremy Williams, an XR Luton member who was dressed as an elephant. “The climate crisis is the elephant in the room. The debate is all about economic growth and jobs, but what is economic growth worth if it comes at the expense of the climate? There are no jobs on a dead planet.”

“We don’t deny that there are benefits to the airport, but we have to ask at what cost? And is it fair that we reap the benefits of the airport locally, while leaving others in more vulnerable parts of the world to pay the price of climate breakdown?”

Among the complaints from protestors was that there was no way to object. “The proposals here are all about how to grow the airport, not whether or not to grow it” said Jason Doyle “If you disagree with the whole idea of growth, there’s no way to say so. That opinion is shut out of the debate.” 

ENDS

For more information contact Jason Doyle 07983 273 072 rebel@xrluton.org

Photos and videos available on request.

Notes:

Extinction Rebellion is a global movement using non-violent direct action in response to the climate emergency. See https://rebellion.earth

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