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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 August 2007, 19:09 GMT 20:09 UK
Airport injunction is 'bizarre'
Heathrow airport
The protest will run from 14 to 21 August
Heathrow operator BAA's request for an injunction covering a climate change protest is an "exercise in confusion and futility", a court has been told.

The firm is asking the High Court for a ruling to prevent unlawful conduct during a demonstration this month.

Nicholas Blake QC, opposing the injunction, dismissed the "bizarre speculative nature" of the bid, which he said was disproportionate.

But BAA's solicitor said the firm wanted to ensure a peaceful protest.

'Small minority'

Thousands of campaigners plan to set up the Camp for Climate Action around Heathrow between 14 and 21 August.

The airport is applying for an injunction under the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act, but Mr Blake said harassment meant persistent conduct targeted at an individual.

He added: "Harassment was never designed as a way of policing demonstrations or holding the balance between free speech, free assembly and the right to protest, and the rights of individuals on the other hand.

"There may be a small minority intent upon disruption but they can probably be identified as and when the circumstances arise and appropriate measures can be taken to deal with them."

BAA's solicitor, Tim Lawson-Cruttenden, has said that the injunction related to four named defendants - Joss Garman, Leo Murray, John Stewart and Geraldine Nicholson - and any members of Plane Stupid, Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise and Airportwatch, and No Third Runway Action Group, who acted unlawfully.

He insisted: "There is nothing in this injunction which a normal law-abiding person would wish to do.

"It seems to me that it is in everyone's interests to ensure that this protest camp, insofar as it affects Heathrow airport, is conducted in an orderly and peaceful manner."

The hearing was adjourned.


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