Protesters from the campaign group RisingUp! Have planned to cause disruptions around Heathrow Airport on Saturday (November 19) to show their opposition to the Government's decision to expand the west London hub.
The group says the decision to build a third runway , which was given approval by ministers in October, is a “red line” for the climate and that it “cannot be accepted”.
A spokesperson for RisingUp! Said: “The Government's decision to expand Heathrow, despite mass opposition from local residents and the fact that doing so is incompatible with the UK's own laws on climate change, leaves us with no morally acceptable option but to resists.”
There is also a protest against Heathrow expansion taking place on Saturday in Richmond , organised by the former candidate for Mayor of London Zac Goldsmith.
Mr Goldsmith recently resigned as a Member of Parliament in protest against the Government's decision, triggering a by-election to take place on December 1.
See below for live updates from both protests.
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Closing down the blog
East ramp and both directions of M4 spur are now all fully open.Traffic flowing normally @TfLTrafficNews CAD1— Aviation Policing (@MPSHeathrow) November 19, 2016
Police around Heathrow have said the roads remain clear after earlier protests at the airport.
A total of 15 people were arrested during the anti-Heathrow expansion protest.
Now seems a good time to close down the blog.
For the full story on the arrests follow the link below.
15 arrests at Heathrow
A statement from the Metropolitan Police has revealed there have been 15 arrests made during the protests at Heathrow Airport.
The arrests were made for obstructing a public highway and public order offences.
A spokesperson said there is a “proportionate policing plan in place” and that officers remain on the scene.
Lib Dem candidate for Richmond speaks out against Heathrow
The Liberal Democrat candidate in the Richmond Park by-election, Sarah Olney. has spoken out against the decision to expand Heathrow.
She said: “The Liberal Democrats have been campaigning against expansion of Heathrow for the last 40 years, so it was great to be standing shoulder to shoulder with so many people who are opposed to a third runway at the rally this morning.
“Many people in the crowd let me know that they were disappointed that I was not invited to speak from the stage. If I had been invited it would have shown that there is unity in the campaign against Heathrow expansion.
“The fact that the Conservatives aren’t standing a candidate against Zac Goldsmith shows that they aren’t concerned by him and will plough on with their third runway agenda even if he is an MP, as they have done thus far.
“The strongest way to send a message on Heathrow is to send a shockwave through 10 Downing Street by electing a Liberal Democrat MP on the 1st December.”
Pictures from the scene of the Heathrow protest
"A new runway at Heathrow will improve connectivity"
After the announcement that the Government would be backing the expansion of Heathrow, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said it was a “momentous step.”
Mr Grayling said: “The step that Government is taking today is truly momentous. I am proud that after years of discussion and delay this Government is taking decisive action to secure the UK’s place in the global aviation market - securing jobs and business opportunities for the next decade and beyond.”
"New runways or a safe climate"
Protester at Heathrow, Genny Scherer who is 70, said: “It’s one or the other: new runways or a safe climate.
“This is what democracy looks like when politicians drop their election promises, instead of allowing climate change to wreck lives of poorer people globally.
“I want my nephews and nieces to grow up in a safe climate, just like I was able to.”
This video from protesters Radical Action shows the “die in” taking place at the M4 Heathrow roundabout.
Demonstrators led in the road blocking traffic when they were confronted by police earlier this morning.
M4 Heathrow ramp closed
M4 Spur (Heathrow) - east ramp is closed. Local delays possible around the airport. (Rising Up demo).— TfL Traffic News (@TfLTrafficNews) November 19, 2016
TfL say that the east ramp of the M4 Spur (Heathrow) is closed and delays are expected because of the demonstration at the airport.
"Many communities surrounding the airport back its expansion"
Here is the full statement from the pro-Heathrow expansion campaign group Back Heathrow, responding to the protest in Richmond today.
Back Heathrow Campaign Director Rob Gray said: “Even residents in London’s richest borough have the right to peaceful protest but nobody should be under the illusion that those demonstrating on Richmond Green represent most people in west London. Many communities surrounding the airport back its expansion, a sentiment shared by the vast majority of MPs across the UK.
“Richmond has the lowest proportion of working-age people that are unemployed across the whole of London. Unfortunately, other boroughs aren’t as lucky which is why there is so much support for a new Heathrow runway which will create up to 77.000 jobs, attract extra investment and generate 5,000 new apprenticeships to help eradicate local youth unemployment.”
Statement from campaign group RiseUp!
Here is the full statement from the campaign group RiseUp!, which organised the protest at the airport:
“The Government’s decisions to expand Heathrow, despite mass opposition from local residents and the fact that doing so is incompatible with the UK’s own laws on climate change, leaves us with no morally acceptable option but to resist.”
“Only 15% of the British public is responsible for 70% of international flights taken in the UK and Heathrow largely serves international passengers who have a mean income of £57,000 per year. This expansion is being driven by the very rich at the expense of some of the poorest people in the world.”
”by 2050 there will be 200 million climate refugees worldwide. Agricultural land in the global south will turn to desert, depriving millions of their right to economic development and driving them into hunger and malnutrition”.
Zac Goldsmith speaks in Richmond
The former MP for Richmond, Zac Goldsmith is speaking at an anti-Heathrow expansion rally he has organised in the town.
Mr Goldmith’s resignation from Parliament in the fallout from the decision has sparked a by-election for the Richmond Park constituency.
Police confront protesters
A live stream from the M4 roundabout at Heathrow shows protester lying in front of traffic. Immediately after blocked traffic a mass of police officers ran to the scene.
Reports of protesters in the road
Protesters against Heathrow expansion are lying in the road to try to block traffic.— Simon Jones (@SimonJonesNews) November 19, 2016
According to BBC journalist Simon Jones there are protesters lying in the road attempting to block traffic, causing disruption in the area.
Disruption from protesters
Owing to a demonstration on the M4,there is congestion northbound on the M4 spur road. There are 2 lanes open on the M4 spur north. 1/2— Aviation Policing (@MPSHeathrow) November 19, 2016
Protesters at Heathrow are already causing disruption to the M4 as congestion is building because of the demonstration