Drone Flights Continue. Heathrow Not Suspended. Police Use Excessive Force.
September 14, 2019 by Heathrow Pause
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The strong Police response to the Heathrow Pause action, resulting in 20 arrests since Friday, has been unable to prevent at least 16 successful drone flights in the Heathrow Airport exclusion zone. There were also a number of pre-emptive arrests before a single drone had taken to the air. Video of some of the drone flights is available here, including previously unseen footage of Sylvia Dell flying a drone on Saturday evening, and others.
The police response has been heavy-handed, given that Heathrow Pause has been peaceful, transparent and accountable, accepting without resistance the consequences of its actions. The police dog attack upon Dr Larch Maxey, is a strong example of this. Larch is well known to the police and the media from his work with Extinction Rebellion and a kinder and gentler soul is nowhere to be found. At the time of the attack he was lying in a garden meditating while voluntarily awaiting arrest, having just completed a phone interview with Eamonn Holmes live on Talk Radio. Larch sustained bloody bite wounds to both legs ripping through both trouser legs [PHOTOS]. Only upon his release 26 hours later, was he allowed to seek medical attention, at University College Hospital. His wounds were cleaned and dressed and he received an injection against tetanus and a course of antibiotics.
In the weeks leading up to the action, Heathrow Airport claimed repeatedly that activists flying drones in the exclusion zone would put people’s lives at risk, The number of successful flights, even in the presence of police officers, has shown this allegation to be false however. Nonetheless, Heathrow continued with flights as usual, defying their own assessment of the danger.
Either Heathrow has deliberately misled the police and the public to discredit the action, or they have taken unacceptable risks, putting profit ahead of safety. Activists maintain that Heathrow’s demonstrably false allegations are consistent with the Airport’s equally false claim to be able to go ‘carbon neutral’ whilst building a third runway.
It is important to note that shutting down Heathrow and worrying scores of travellers was never the point of this. The objective was always to trigger a sensible, honest conversation, throughout society on the dangerous folly of Heathrow expansion, with the ultimate objective of cancelling the third runway.
The airport authority has made contradictory statements about safety and completely abandoned protocols previously held as essential to guaranteeing passenger safety. As a consequence, activists are considering escalating their approach to meet the change in circumstances, whilst scrupulously adhering to the principles of nonviolence, and always ensuring that no lives are put at risk of harm.
Heathrow Pause activists intend to continue with their action until the Government agrees to establish a Citizens’ Assembly with legally binding powers to decide on how to respond to the Environment and Climate Emergency declared by Parliament on May 1st. They have been hugely encouraged by the wave of support they continue to receive from concerned people around the world, who do not want to see mankind destroy the environment and make the planet uninhabitable because of our insane and unnecessary burning of fossil fuels.