Heathrow climate camp on the move
For one night only Richmond was home to a 45-strong group of climate change campaigners determined to stop expansion at Heathrow.
The protestors paraded through Richmond’s streets before meeting with residents to discuss climate concerns at Grove Gardens Chapel, where the travellers spent the night on day one of a seven-day trek.
Around 15 borough campaigners involved in the Richmond Heathrow Campaign (RHC) joined the group to debate different approaches to tackling the issue, specifically the hot topic of the airport.
Participants in the Climate Caravan have been walking and cycling from Heathrow to the camp for climate action at Kingsnorth power station in Kent since Sunday.
Richmond protestor, Peter Willen said: “There is a wide diversity of people involved and what people think they can and are willing to do.
“We are coming from the viewpoint that we are trying to keep the grass roots learning involved but also showing some solidarity.
“There are people that are willing to take direct action like gluing themselves to Gordon Brown.”
Climate caravan campaigner Paddy Gillett travelled from Sheffield to be part of the movement and agreed there was “a diversity of tactics to tackle the third runway and expansion”.
“There is a massive amount of support for a direct action plan, like occupying Sipson.
“Even if they don’t build a third runway we would try to stop them going ahead with mix mode,” he said.
Mr Gillett added that the biggest problem with Sunday’s meeting was the regular pauses “because every 90 seconds a plane came over”.
Mr Willen is hoping that the borough will host its own event in September to ensure the proposed growth of the world’s busiest airport stays at the forefront of people’s minds.
He continued: “Every two months we need to do something that sparks people’s imaginations.”
Currently the Camp for Climate Action has been working with campaign groups HACAN, NoTRAG (No Third Runway Action Group) and Greenpeace, along with smaller organisations to propose solutions which Mr Gillett described the process as “really exciting”.