Runway protest at Maidenhead consultation event

Residents fighting the proposed third runway staged a noisy protest at the Department for Transport Consultation event in Maidenhead on 7th March. 

Protestor has his say on the environmental consequences of Heathrow expansion

Protestor has his say on the environmental consequences of Heathrow expansion

Around 30 campaigners joined environmental activists to send a message to the DfT and the local MP, Prime Minister Theresa May, that they have strong reasons to oppose further expansion at Heathrow. Just in case Ms May wasn't there (unlikely since she isn't bothered about the impact on her constituents), the protesters took along a life-sized cardboard cutout of the lady and some Theresa May face masks. 

Theresa May is not listening so protestors have to make do with a cardboard cut out. 

Theresa May is not listening so protestors have to make do with a cardboard cut out. 

Among the protestors were people from Hammersmith, Chiswick, Ascot, Teddington and the Heathrow Villages of Harmondsworth, Sipson and Longford. 

Residents from some of the areas that would be affected said their piece

Residents from some of the areas that would be affected said their piece

The protesters at the venue waited until about 15 minutes before it closed, to avoid disturbing local residents who might be filling out their response forms, and made it clear that they simply wanted to make a point. Several of the group addressed those at the venue, telling them why they opposed the proposed development and the massive increase in flights. 

A farmer addresses the crowd. His working farm would be buried under concrete

A farmer addresses the crowd. His working farm would be buried under concrete

Reasons for being fiercely opposed to expansion ranged from concerns about climate change to the deeply personal - widow Armelle Thomas lived with her husband in Harmondsworth for 46 years and told the DfT, "My home is not for sale!"  

Theresa May doesn't appear to know her own mind

Theresa May doesn't appear to know her own mind

Some of the protesters read out Theresa May's quotes, said when she was very strongly against building a third runway - when it was planned by a Labour government. 

Unlike other venues during the consultation, which have plain-clothed security, the DfT had already decided that Theresa May's area would have an additional four uniformed officers. The atmosphere could have been tense but "Residents Against Expansion" campaigner Neil Keveren lightened the mood when he whipped out his guitar for a quick rendition of his song "No Third Runway", which has been played at numerous events over the past nine years.   

Harmondsworth resident sings his anti-runway song, written last time his home was under threat

Harmondsworth resident sings his anti-runway song, written last time his home was under threat

Film cameras have been banned from consultation venues so the protest was captured on phones (shown on BBC London and on the Maidenhead Advertiser website).

As planned, the protest ended at about 8.15pm and everyone left to the familiar sound of aircraft departing Heathrow. As the song goes...."all day long it will never end".

Tucked away on YouTube - Neil's band Pig Earth first posted the song in February 2008

Tucked away on YouTube - Neil's band Pig Earth first posted the song in February 2008

 

"No Third Runway" lyrics

Sing with me, 
Save this community.
Stand up to the powers that be,
No one’s going to trample our dreams,

This is our home - and we will stay, No 3rd runway.

Documents of consultation, 
Nothing more than fabrication, 
Promises of no pollution
Another lie is no solution

You wanted a Fifth Terminal
No more runway space at all
Proved to be another lie
Tell the truth and pigs might fly

This is our home and we will stay, No 3rd runway. 
This is our home and we will stay, No 3rd runway.

90 seconds plane
90 more and one'll come again
90 more and again and again
All day long it will never end

This is our home and we will stay, No 3rd runway. 
This is our home and we will stay, No 3rd runway.

So obsessed with future wealth
Profit over peoples’ health
Roaring engines rob our sleep
Make our gardens obsolete
Breaking into virgin sky
Destroying quality of life

Come on and hear this wake up call
See how it affects us all

This is our home and we will stay, No 3rd runway. 
This is our home and we will stay, No 3rd runway.

90 seconds plane
90 more and one'll come again
90 more and again and again
All day long - it will never end

This is our home and we will stay, No 3rd runway.

Stand with me
Save this community
Stand up to the powers that be
No one’s going to trample our dreams

This is our home and we will stay, No 3rd runway. 
This is our home and we will stay, No 3rd runway.