Extinction Rebellion announced in May that they are planning to disrupt London Heathrow air traffic for ten days this summer using drones as part of their protest but they just canned their plan.
Drone sightings at London area airports have caused massive disruptions already in the recent past and even though (as we reported here on multiple occasions) the culprits haven’t been caught yet, the punishment likely claims for damages would be severe.
The BBC just reported that the “activist group” announced they would not go through with their plans at this time.
A plan by climate protestors to shut down Heathrow Airport with drones on Tuesday has been postponed.
Extinction Rebellion had threatened to cause disruption by flying drones in June and July, in protest against a planned expansion of the airport.
On Friday, police warned those involved they could face a life sentence and urged campaigners to reconsider.
The group has confirmed its plans have been grounded adding the airport would “not have to pause any summer flights”.
Extinction Rebellion had been in talks with its members to stage a demonstration on 18 June and for up to 10 further days in July unless the government cancelled the expansion plans.
However, the group said the action had been called off. …
Heathrow Airport called the potential action “reckless”, saying it “could endanger the lives of the travelling public and our colleagues”.
There is a term for people who purposely endanger the society at large, that term isn’t “activist”. Considering the substantial damages that already resulted out of (likely) unrelated drone flights, even the threat of shutting down a facility like an airport should be grounds for prosecution.
The authorities were right on target threatening severe punishment to individuals should they get involved in blocking and endangering air traffic.
Shutting down an airport, and causing financial hardship for the public isn’t a proper way of political discourse. One can protest in the streets and on the steps of parliament. In the end, the public interest at large outweighs the intend and purpose of protests. You can’t just disable an essential infrastructure such as one of Europe’s busiest airports just to make your voice heard.
This is no different than the mobs who occupied and shut down Bangkok Airport a couple years ago which caused widespread international criticism. There shouldn’t be a two way street of reporting when it comes to such things.