TWO environmental activists from Stroud will be appearing at the City of London Magistrates’ Court today, charged with aggravated trespass.
Senan Clifford, an ex-teacher aged 59, and David Lambert, a landscape consultant aged 60, were arrested in October at an Extinction Rebellion protest at London City Airport.
The action was designed to draw attention to the damaging impact of the airport and its expansion plans, and the catastrophic impact of the projected doubling in the number of commercial aircraft by 2038.
The crime carries a maximum penalty of three months in prison.
Both are pleading not guilty on the grounds that they were acting to prevent death and serious injury resulting from the climate crisis.
Mr Lambert said: “City Airport is not Heathrow.
“City Airport is used predominantly by the wealthy, frequent fliers, business people, for short-haul flights in smaller jets, all of which have disproportionately large carbon footprints.
“The Civil Aviation Authority says its users have the highest mean annual income of any UK airport.
“This is the polluter elite, whose selfishness is poisoning our air and destroying our peace.”
Mr Clifford said: “We know that the number of flights is set to increase massively over the next 15 years, and carbon emissions from flying will continue to rise despite increased fuel efficiency. They rose by 32 per cent between 2013 and 2018.
“Demand is soaring in developing countries which means that in advanced economies such as ours, we have to cut back.
“Instead City Airport is planning a major expansion. In a climate emergency that is madness.”