Back in January Mark Haworth, one of the defendants from the first Manchester Airport Trial gave the Just Do It blog his story. Today the second trial began. Kerry Williams reports..
At 9am this morning, a real sense of solidarity could be felt outside Trafford Magistrate’s Court. The six defendants appearing in court as I write face an aggravated trespass charge for forming a circle using armtubes around the wheel of a Monarch Airline jet last May. Everyone was in high spirits, mixed with anticipation, despite the drizzling rain. The relaxed atmosphere was slightly tainted by the unnecessary presence of a FIT officer, invasively filming supporters of the defendants as they arrived at court.
We need to start waking up to the fact that climate change isn’t just a problem for future generations; we are seeing its devastating impacts now. The aviation industry receives a tax break of £9 billion each year, including paying nothing on fuel, while public sectors are cut and the VAT we pay on toilet roll increases to 20%. Why is it fair that the aviation industry gets special treatment whilst other sectors must reduce their emissions? This is what Kevin Anderson from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research has been asking this afternoon as he spoke at the trial. He was arguing for the necessity of the defendants’ actions in the face of runaway climate change, adding that even the current emissions of the aviation industry exceed the capacity of our climate, let alone if airports continue to expand.
The actions of the Manchester defendants are an example of how we might be able to see real change; signing petitions just isn’t enough anymore. We need to start targeting the industries and corporations who are not only dodging tax whilst public sectors are cut, but also continue exploiting our planet.
Come and support the defendants tomorrow or Wednesday morning at 9am at Trafford Magistrate’s Court, Manchester, or send your statements of support to email@example.com.
The time to act is now!
Words by Kerry Williams, Manchester Airport on Trial