David Cullen, 31 years old, Manchester
David Cullen works as a researcher at an NGO, where he finds out about weapons and what they do, in order to work out how to get rid of them. He has previously done lots of different jobs, including being a farm hand, security guard, removals man and a pumpkin picker. He also briefly ran a sharp-shooting game at a funfair, but that was less exciting than it sounds, and he moved onto other things.
He is a DJ, and very much misses the night he used to put on with his friends, because it was so much fun. If there was twice as much time in a week, he would like to spend quite a lot of the extra bit writing. He is a secretly a bit of a computer geek, but fortunately he doesn’t have much time for that either, so he still possesses rudimentary social skills.
Robbie Gillett, 24 years old, Manchester
Robbie currently works as a journalist for an independent media organisation in Manchester. He has has had an active interest in climate issues for a the last few years as well as cycling, music and soundsystems.
Iain Hilton, 31 years old, Manchester
Iain Hilton is a 31 year old Mancunian, born and bred. He grew up in Didsbury, South Manchester, and has seen the effects felt by communities living near one of the UK’s largest and busiest airports first hand. He can recall the campaigns in the mid-late 90′s against the second runway, which provided a pertinent backdrop to his A-level in politics at the time. Especially as when he was studying what should be one of the most effective and engaging democracies in the world, he in fact witnessed the disenfranchisement and political neglect of entire communities in favour of big business.
Iain is also an ex-licencee, whose work in the pub trade made him a respected pillar of the communities around him.
As a keen outdoor enthusiast and walker, Iain has also witnessed first hand the effect of the airport’s expansion and related developements (hotels etc), and the destruction this has caused to the beautiful countryside that he and thousands of others love to call ‘home’.
Iain believes not only that the aviation industry should be brought back down to earth to account for its contributions to climate change and environmental destruction, but also that it is imperative that the airport be brought to account for the destructive nature of its activities and expansion plans – and that the council must be made to re-engage with the democratic process and the electorate that it should be serving, instead of neglecting them in favour of their own vested interests and those of big business.
Amanda Walters, 23 years old, Manchester
Amanda is 23 years old and currently works as the Campaigns Officer at the University of Manchester Students’ Union. She got involved in human rights campaigning after spending over 7 months travelling around Africa, Australia and South East Asia and seeing first hand the human rights abuses in those places. Her sense of justice meant that she felt couldn’t sit back and let these atrocities go on, she had to do something. During her time at University she became aware that climate change is the biggest human rights issue we face. Global warming is causing people’s right to life, property, food and housing to be denied. She believes that it is our actions as polluters as well as our inaction against the government and corporations that are causing the suffering of others. Her actions are firmly rooted in this understanding and the rejection of being complicit in human rights abuses
Mark Haworth, 24, Manchester
Mark works for a local environmental charity on a project which help schools across Greater Manchester to become more sustainable. He has been campaigning on social and climate justice issues for several years, and also performing magic and mountain climbing.
Vanessa Hall, Manchester
Vanessa grew up in South Manchester and studied Environmental Biology at Liverpool University. She returned to Manchester to join the Coalition Against Runway 2 and it was whilst living on site next to the River Bollin that she decided her flying days were over, and she hasn’t stepped foot in a plane since.
After the campaign Vanessa settled in Hulme and got involved with Friends of the Earth and the Green Party. She became the Chair of the Manchester Green Party, stood in local and National Elections, served on the Green Party Regional Council and as Spokesperson on Women’s Issues and was elected as the first Green Party Councillor in Manchester in 2003. During her time as councillor Vanessa continued to be very active taking part in anti-nuclear peace protests at Faslane submarine base and various climate change protests including a blockade of the domestic departures at Manchester Airport. Following this action, in September 2007 she took part in a public debate with the Airport, Council and the Chamber of Commerce.
Vanessa stepped down from public office in 2008 to focus on climate change campaigning and to spend more time with her family. She now works in tree surgery and woodland management and continues in her commitment for climate justice and social justice for all.
Jess Bradley , 22 years old, Manchester
After leaving school, Jess spend a few years working for a project at the University of Bradford which involved teaching schoolchildren and undergraduates about the role engineers have taken in shaping the climate, from the causes of global warming, to potential solutions that engineers can offer.
They are now in their second year of reading Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester, and since learning more about how climate change will not only effect thousands of fragile ecosystems, but can potentially have a massive effect on the quality of life for millions of ordinary people, they have felt the need to take direct action against the root causes of climate change.
Jess is also a trustee for a national drugs charity and spends their free time cooking, dancing and singing badly.
Barney Francis, Manchester
Barney Francis currently runs a non-profit community arts organisation based in Manchester and works on a variety of projects that critically engage social and environmental justice issues within the public realm. Barney is a firm believer in utilizing the arts as a social agent in order to facilitate new possibilities and imaginings for the way we structure our environments. He spends his time organising arts activism projects, shifting speakers for the crew and climbing as many mountains as possible.