25 Jan 2016

Plane Stupid Heathrow demonstrators found guilty and told to expect custodial sentences

Monday, 25 January 2016
Plane Stupid Heathrow demonstrators found guilty and told to expect custodial sentences
From Get West London LINK
A group of 13 Plane Stupid campaigners who caused 25 flight cancellations after breaking in to Heathrow Airport 's north runway have been found guilty today of aggravated trespass and entering a security restricted area.

The seven men and six women cut a hole in a fence and chained themselves to railings on the north runway, beginning at around 3.30am on July 13 2015.

As the verdict was read out, one defendant shouted: "This is a farce!", as other gasped in disbelief.
District Judge Wright has told defendants they can expect jail sentences for their actions.

During their three-day trial at Willesden Magistrates' Court, defendants told of how they carried out the pre-planned action in order to 'save lives', using the defence of necessity.

The protesters claimed their actions were necessary and reasonable in order to reduce carbon emissions and halt climate change.

The court previously heard how Graham Edward James Thompson, 42, of Durlston Road, Hackney and a press officer for Greenpeace, explained that he was “compelled by his conscience” to take action that day.

Mr McGhee, prosecuting, said: “Why do you feel that your conscience entitles you to break the law?”
To which Mr Thompson replied: “In the context of this situation, breaking the law was not the most serious issue at hand.”

The 13 defendants all pleaded not guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates Court on August 19 2015. 

acknowledgements to

19 Jan 2016

Make an allowance to seniors for free access to the internet.

Greens constantly seem to ignore  the fact that there are more 50+ voters than 50- voters in the UK.
Some Green issues vaguely cover some of the  problems that effect seniors but there are many that are specific.
eg Housing. Does not cover sheltered housing, care Homes, bed blocking, the need for single bedroom units.

With austerity cuts the Government are renegading on their duty to inform seniors of their rights. They no longer send information to seniors with leaflets. Everything is on line. Seniors cannot afford internet access and there is no appropriate training  to their needs. Many Libraries and Community centres have been closed where seniors might have got some advice and help.  In fact those of us who have paid out for devices and internet service are subsidising the Government duties.
Unless Greens start addressing  the specific problems seniors face they are seen to be  neglecting a vast section of the UK population of voters.
Maureen Childs Co-chair Green Seniors
Please sign and forward our petition below
Make an allowance to seniors for free access to the internet.
Considering the Government ONLY inform seniors of their rights by the internet many seniors are excluded from essential information by the very cost of internet access.
More details
An allowance of £200 per year, similar to winter fuel allowance should be granted to state pensioners to enable them internet access from their homes.
Many seniors are house bound and cannot make use of provision of internet access in libraries or other free facilities. The government have recently announced the possibility of medical advice from GP's via the internet. They would be able to communicate with local services, buy their weekly provisions and make use of the infinite services available to contribute to their well being.

15 Jan 2016

Greens' solidarity with Plane Stupid activists on trial at Willesden Magistartes' Court on Monday

The 13 members of activist group Plane Stupid accused of "aggravated trespass" during a protest at Heathrow Airport in July last year have the full support of the Green Party of England and Wales.

The trial of the activists, who occupied the northern runway of Heathrow, begins at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Monday January 18th. Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party, Dr Shahrar Ali, Deputy Leader of the Green Party, and Sian Berry, Green Party candidate for Mayor of London, will all attend a demonstration outside the court to underline the Party’s solidarity with the non-violent climate activists.

Speaking ahead of the trial, Natalie Bennett said:

Our party applauds the determination of the Heathrow 13. We stand up for the activists just as they are standing up for our planet.

Bigger airports make no climate sense. The UK cannot make its contribution to cutting carbon emissions whilst expanding its airports and increasing emissions from aviation.

If this government is in any way serious about delivering climate-sensitive policies then airport expansion plans must be immediately shelved and other measures - including encouraging short-haul flight passengers on to existing rail services and introducing a frequent flyer tax - must be explored.
Shahrar Ali, a long-time supporter of the activists and a Green Party candidiate on the GLA List said:

We stand in solidarity with the activists who, like the Green Party, recognise that urgent action is needed to protect us all from the threat of climate change. Endless growth of our aviation capacity is incompatible with the UK meeting its climate change commitments. 
If airport expansion gets the go-ahead at Heathrow, local residents will suffer enormously from increasing noise and air pollution, the ‘silent killer’ of thousands of Londoners each year.”
London has already breached annual pollution limits for 2016 LINK. A report commissioned by Mayor Boris Johnson last year found that nearly 9,500 people die prematurely each year because of the capital’s dirty air LINK.

The demonstration starts at 9am.

4 Jan 2016

Greens launch London Fair Fares policy with postcard drop at stations across London

Abolish the zones and close the gaps with a one-hour ticke across all modes to give London fairer fares, says Green candidate Sian Berry

“We’ll level the playing field to make everyone’s journey to work  cost the same, removing the hidden penalties if you live in outer London, work part time, need to take two buses, or change between tube, bus and train on your way.”
On the day transport fares go up throughout the country, the Green Party today announces radical plans to flatten fares across the capital and make transport fairer for all Londoners.
The party’s three key measures are: the phased introduction of a flat fare structure, making zones a thing of the past; a daily cap for part-time workers that matches the rates paid by monthly season ticket holders; and a one-hour ‘ONE Ticket’ across all modes which will close the gaps for people who currently pay twice when changing from bus or train to the Tube as well as ensuring that people changing buses pay only once for their journey.
Sian Berry, Green Mayoral candidiate said: 
It’s not fair that people in outer London pay so much more to get to work in the centre of the city - especially as it’s also easier for people in the centre of town to use even cheaper or free alternatives such as hire bikes, cycling or walking.

Brent and Harrow Assembly candidate for the Green Party was up with the lark (actually the larks were still asleep!) this morning to leaflet Wembley Park commuters
Sian, along with fellow City Hall candidates Caroline Russell and Shahrar Ali and veteran transport planner Dave Wetzel, the architect of Ken Livingstone’s Fares Fair policy at the GLC, will join local Green parties handing out #FairFares postcards at 50 rail and Tube stations all over London.
She said:
The focus of my fares policy is on closing the gaps where the current system is unfair. Flattening the zone structure is the most revolutionary idea for London’s fares since the introduction of the Travelcard in 1983, and I’m delighted that Dave Wetzel, who was in charge of transport in London then, is helping me launch it today.
A Green Mayor and Assembly Members will help level the playing field and make transport fairer and more equal for Londoners. It’s not fair that you have to pay more to change onto the tube from the national rail services that people in south London rely upon, or that if you need to take two buses to work you have to pay twice for your journey.
And it’s not fair that people who work part time pay more per day to get to work than people with full-time jobs – because the daily cap is much higher than what you will pay if you or your employer can afford an annual season ticket. People who work part time are often women, and more than half are paid less than the London Living Wage.