Global blockade of 11 private airports by activists and scientists – 31 arrests

Global protest for a ban on private jets and a tax on frequent flyers to finance climate adaptation and compensation for vulnerable countries.

Scientists and climate activists from the Scientist Rebellion and Extinction Rebellion barricaded several private airports in recent days and protested against private jets in eleven countries. Private airports in Farnborough and London Luton (UK), Berlin (Germany), Milan (Italy), Stockholm (Sweden), Ibiza (Spain), Teterboro New Jersey, Charlotte North Carolina, Los Angeles and Seattle (USA) were closed on Thursday 10 .October. November, while Schiphol (Netherlands) was blocked on Saturday 5 November as part of a larger protest.

Private airports in Melbourne (Australia), Trondheim (Norway), Cascais (Portugal), the world’s third largest aircraft manufacturer Dassault (Paris, France) and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure were also targeted. Nearly 200 people participated in the protests, including 129 scientists from various disciplines. The disruption was caused by protesters using a variety of tactics to block airport entrances, such as strapping themselves in with steel pipes and chains, gluing themselves to doors and windows, and setting off fire alarms. In other cases, activists used art and music. In Ibiza, they staged a theatrical act to portray the contempt and arrogance of the rich while the less fortunate struggle. 31 protesters were arrested and later released, and 58 were identified by the police.

These action days were part of the international campaign Make Them Pay. Activists called on world leaders, now meeting in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, for the 27th annual United Nations climate conference g (COP27), to ban private jets, which use about 10 times more energy per day. passengers than commercial jets and 50 times more than trains. The campaign also called for a tax on frequent flyers. Taxes will help reduce emissions as well as compensate for damages, fund climate finance and cancel financial debt in the countries most vulnerable to climate disruption. These demands include a proposal from the group of least developed countries – representing the most climate-sensitive countries at COP27 – and are supported by several national civil assemblies.

Increase public urgency

Climate scientist Dr. Peter Kalmus was among those arrested for his participation in the North Carolina blockade. “Today I was arrested for the second time for trying to make the public aware of the collapse of the Earth,” said Dr. Kalmus. We are on the right side of history, but it feels like we are losing badly. We need reinforcements, more scientists and more people engaged in non-violent civil disobedience. At this point, you don’t have to be a scientist to know that until we stop using fossil fuels, every summer will be hotter than the last, and we’re in danger of losing everything because of it. I find the general disregard in our society of this basic fact astonishing.’

Dr. Marjan Smeulders, microbiologist, said: ‘To prevent a climate catastrophe, we must switch to a state of emergency. This means reducing the luxury emissions of a wealthy elite whose carbon footprint is orders of magnitude greater than the rest of us. It is unacceptable that the super rich continue to fly around the world while millions suffer from catastrophic climate effects.’

Catastrophic turning points

Dr. Rose Abramoff, climate scientist, said: ‘In these critical times, every tonne of fossil fuel emitted damages our natural life support systems and moves us closer to catastrophic tipping points. A crucial first step towards a secure energy transition is to ban private air travel, tax frequent flyers and ensure that wealthy people and countries pay their climate debt to the South, indigenous peoples and frontline communities.”

Finlay Asher, an aerospace engineer, said: ‘Aviation represents the pinnacle of climate injustice and emissions inequality. Only 1% of the world’s population produces more than half of the total emissions from aviation, while 80% of the world’s population has never set foot on board a plane. I cannot stand by and watch my industry’s emissions continue to grow and contribute to the climate violence wreaking havoc around the world, while private jet sales boom and we completely fail economic and climate justice.”

Source Scientist Rebellion.

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