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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
Campaigners leave Heathrow camp
Climate change protest
A demonstration took place outside the offices of BAA at Heathrow
Climate change protesters are leaving their camp at Heathrow Airport on a day of direct action against UK firms.

Campaigners quit the eight-day camp from 1500 BST following a 24-hour protest against expansion at Heathrow.

On the final day Sizewell nuclear power plant, oil firm BP, two carbon offsetting companies, and Heathrow operator BAA were hit by direct action.

Campaigners said they had achieved what they wanted, but BAA said flights and passengers were unaffected by the camp.

'Now leaving'

The campaigners had planned to leave the camp at midday but voted to make their departure later.

A campaign spokesman said: "We have accomplished what we wanted to accomplish and now we're leaving."

A BAA spokesman said: "Throughout the duration of the climate camp, Heathrow has operated normally and flights and passengers have been unaffected.

"Despite threats by the camp organisers, we are pleased that protesters have continued to respect the rights of our passengers and not interfered with the airport's operation."

Some 200 anti-aviation Camp for Climate Action members blockaded the offices of Heathrow operator BAA, which had told staff not to come to the site.

During direct action protests across the country on Monday:

  • Five people blocked the main gate at Sizewell B nuclear power station in Suffolk after locking their arms inside barrels of concrete
  • A dozen protesters superglued their hands to entrance doors at BP's headquarters in central London
  • Campaigners dressed as "red herrings" protested at the offices of carbon offset firms Climate Care in Oxford and the Carbon Neutral Company in London
  • A group invaded the London offices of Bridgepoint Capital, a private equity firm which is behind the expansion of Leeds-Bradford Airport

Earlier, there were scuffles between campaigners and riot police, and eight people were arrested after blockading British Airways' world cargo centre.

'Open minded'

Jenny Jones, a Green member of the London Assembly, said there had been "worrying reports of unprovoked attacks against non-violent demonstrators by police covering their faces and without identification numbers".

But Commander Jo Kaye of the Metropolitan Police defended the operation, saying the force had been "very open minded from the outset".

Protesters

The 24 hours of action began with a march through Sipson village, close to Heathrow, by activists waving banners bearing slogans such as "You Fly, They Die" and "No Third Runway: Sipson Village RIP".

The group later stopped vehicles getting into British Airways' Eastern Perimeter Road depot in a protest they said was to highlight how transporting food by air is contributing to climate change.

New runway

The day was mostly peaceful, but some scuffles took place and missiles were thrown as riot police encircled about 50 protesters to prevent them entering BAA's car park.

Organisers said 1,400 people were taking part in the day of action, while police at the camp put the number at about 1,000.

Protesters have been at the camp - situated between the M4 motorway and the airport's northern perimeter in west London - to highlight what they say is aviation's contribution to climate change.

A total of 58 people have been arrested during the event.

A fifth terminal will open at Heathrow in March 2008 and a new runway has been proposed by the government for about 2020.

Proposed Heathrow expansion and climate camp location


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Protesters lay chained together at Sizewell B



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Terms and Conditions for sending pictures
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