Both trials have now concluded and the following statement was released by six defendants following the end of the second trial on 22nd February 2011. You can listen to it here.
“This is the first action in the north contesting airport expansion, and whatever the outcome in court today, this trial will not be the last.
The court heard from respected climate scientists that climate change is accelerating, and continues to be the biggest threat to life as we know it. Having heard from this, the expert testimony, we are more convinced than ever that our actions were justified and necessary.
We have heard in court today from local Councillor Martin Eakins, and from Heathrow MP John McDonnell that the political system both locally and nationally is failing to address the public health emergency that is climate change.
The court heard that Manchester Airport’s expansion plans are based on outdated and flawed policy. Manchester City Council, who own the airport, have a responsibility to abandon proposed plans and change course while there is still time.
The court heard from local resident Peter Johnson, whose home on Hasty Lane faces demolition in order to expand Manchester Airport. He expressed how efforts to oppose the expansion were “thwarted by politicians with vested interests”; and how he felt “angry, frustrated and cheated” by the system that is supposed to represent him.
None of this evidence was challenged in court, and yet the court saw fit to find us guilty.
As the court heard, civil disobedience has a long and honourable tradition in this country, and Manchester has a proud place in that history. We all have a duty, and a responsibility, and we will continue to act to stop climate change.
We would like to thank everyone who has supported us during the trial, locally, nationally and internationally.”
Trial 2 – Begins Monday 21st February 2011 at Trafford Magistrates Court
The six defendants who went airside will appear in court in February 2011 charged with aggravated trespass. See pictures and report of the action here. Come to court to show your support.
Trial 1 – Concluded 7th December 2010
The trial of the eleven defendants who took part in a roadside blockade of the road entrance to the World Freight Centre has concluded. Two defendants, Mark Haworth plead not guilty. You can read about their trial here.