Don’t Jail Climate Change Protesters Opposing Airport Expansion

heathrow airport

Target: Prosecutor Philip McGhee

Goal: Don’t give jail time to peaceful climate change activists that simply opposed airport expansion.

Thirteen climate change protesters face the threat of time in prison for their protest at Heathrow airport. The “Heathrow 13” were found guilty of aggravated trespassing and entering a security-restricted area of an aerodrome after their lie-down protest on the north runway. The demonstrators, members of the Plane Stupid campaign group, were protesting the expansion of Heathrow airport and the construction of a new runway. This would result in an increase in the amount of emissions made by an increased number of flights taking off and landing at the airport.

The protest resulted in numerous delays and 25 cancelled flights. Scientific evidence was presented at their trial revealing that halting a flight could be the most effective way an individual can reduce emissions. According to Heathrow officials, the protest did not in fact close the runways. Furthermore, despite the fact that the protesters caused no harm, were peaceful, and even called the police to inform them about the protest as it began, the judge had said that it is almost inevitable that they will still receive jail time.

This would be the first time in almost 20 years that peaceful environmental protesters would go to prison for the offense of aggravated trespass. Normal punishments are usually limited to fines or community service. This could set a dangerous path regarding the liberties of concerned citizens to peacefully gather and protest. Sign this petition to prevent these climate change activists from going to jail.


Dear Prosecutor McGhee,

The “Heathrow 13” climate change protesters should not be given a prison sentence for their actions. They acted peacefully, causing no harm to anybody, and did so in the cause of climate change awareness, something that will affect the entire planet.

They have been found guilty, under the law, of aggravated trespass. Now it is up to you to use your discretion, better judgment and position to treat these 13 peaceful people justly. A prison sentence for their actions is wrong, in light of their intentions and the lack of real harm caused. The precedent this could set for trials regarding peaceful protests could be disastrous for the future of free speech and the right to protest.

I demand that you urge for lesser penalties, such as fines or community service, for these peaceful climate change protesters.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Panhard

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One Comment

  1. Gillian Miller Gillian Miller says:

    Protesting is part of the right to free speech. By arresting and sending peaceful demonstrators to jail is a breach of their First Amendment rights whatever else is said.

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