The direct action planned as the climax to a week long protest against the planned expansion of Heathrow and aviation’s part in global warming began at midday on Sunday (August 19).

Campaigners clashed with riot police as they descended on the Heathrow headquarters of airport owner BAA to protest against plans for a third runway.

But fears the airport would be grounded by protests proved unfounded.

Elsewhere activists dressed as red herrings targeted two carbon offset companies in Oxford and London in a protest against the schemes, which they say are a distraction from effective climate action.

Sophie Nathan, who took part in the action, said: “Carbon offsets are ineffective, based on dubious science and lead people to believe they are helping when they are not – the concept and the practice are a con.”

Twelve protesters super glued themselves to the entrance of BPs headquarters, which is estimated to supply about a third of the aviation fuel used at Heathrow.

They claimed they were highlighting the company’s role in the aviation industry.

Protester Stanley Owen said “We cannot sustain infinite growth on a planet with finite resources.”

Five protesters staged blockades outside Sizewell A and B nuclear power stations in Suffolk with a banner declaring: “Nuclear power is not the answer to climate chaos.”

Another 18 occupied the London office of the owners of Leeds airport, Bridgepoint Capital.

Some 500 people marched to the 3km stretch of land set aside for a third Heathrow runway.

Others went to Harmondsworth village next to Sipson village – part of the proposed development site – where they were addressed by John McDonnell, Labour MP for the area.

On Sunday evening, eight protesters locked to each other blockaded the BA World Cargo depot for four and a half hours.

Police made More than 70 arrests during the week.

A fifth terminal will open at Heathrow next March while government has proposed a new runway between 2015 and 2020.

David Gibbs

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