DONE! Rising Up! #StayGrounded action on Nov 19th Heathrow (high risk)

DONE! On Nov 19th I will join Rising Up! and at least 100 people in an action at Heathrow Airport, demanding that climate change and air pollution are fully considered by the Government when defining transport and aviation policy. We cannot allow the environmental and social consequences of aviation to be ignored. "Climate crisis is a racist crisis". This action carries a significant risk of arrest - I am willing to put myself on the line to fight climate change. TARGET REACHED!

RESULT: 15 people were arrested on a day that included a large police presence. At least 25 others were apparently willing to be arrested. There was a lot of media coverage (for example https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/19/heathrow-campaigners-arr...) Rising Up! has learned a lot from this experience. Please support defendants https://www.facebook.com/events/195127757558084/?notif_t=plan_edited&not...  

People taking part in this direct action have been invited to training and information sessions. If you are unclear of what to do it is best you join the protest at the Three Magpies, Bath Road, TW6 2AU at 11:45am. Bring placards, banners and your voices! The organiser of the protest (not the direct action) is Neil on 07850904677 if you need him.

We do not believe if they occur that the arrests for this action will have "serious consequences" though this is a subjective view and risk may be higher for specific individuals. You will be fully briefed on the legal situation and can choose to un-pledge at anytime. 

Legal information: A must read

This legal information must be read by everyone who it at risk of arrest in the November 19th Action at Heathrow. It is split up into 4 sections: Key legal messages, Checklist to complete before the action, Charges, The arrest process.

Key Legal Messages

https://greenandblackcross.org/guides/key-advice/#nocomment

No Comment

You do not need to answer police questions, so don’t. This can be hard, but it is worth it. 

This is for your own protection and for the protection of others. Instead of trying to decide when it seems ‘safe’ to answer, just say ‘No comment’ to all questions – during ‘informal chats’, in the police van and especially in interview. Remember that interviews only help the police – they do not need to interview you if they already have enough evidence to charge you.

A good solicitor will sometimes suggest that you make a prepared statement in interview. In that case, you or your solicitor will read the statement and you should answer “No comment” to any more questions.

No Duty Solicitor

The “duty solicitor” is the solicitor who is present at the police station. They may come from any firm of solicitors, which means they almost certainly know nothing about protest. Ring the legal support number at the police station and specialist solicitors will be organised for you.

No Caution

Cautions are an admission of guilt. Offering you a caution is a way the police may ask you to admit guilt for an offence without having to charge you. It is an easy win for the police, as they don’t have to provide any evidence or convince a court of your guilt.

No Personal Details

On protests, the police often use searches as a way of finding out who is present, both for intelligence purposes and to intimidate you. Police also use arrest as a means of gathering information, particularly when they arrest a large number of people together (“mass arrest”).

We recommend not giving personal details to the police for as long as possible, at least not until you are booked in at the police station and charged with a crime. See here for more details. https://greenandblackcross.org/guides/what-happens-if-im-arrested/1-shou...

Checklist

07946 541511 is the legal support number: The morning of the action write it on your arm in permanent marker.
02078334433 is the lawyer’s number. The firm is called Bindmans. The morning of the action write it on your arm in permanent marker.
You may be kept in police custody for 24 hours, so re-arrange any responsibilities or commitments for the whole weekend. If you take medicine, bring it with you.
You will almost certainly be released on bail, and this usually involves giving the police your address. Depending on what you are arrested for, your home may be searched while you are in custody, and you may wish to warn anyone you live with of this possibility.   
In the police station, you have the right to have someone informed of your detention. We encourage you to call Green & Black Cross on the number above, to let them know of your arrest so they can coordinate support. They can also contact a friend or family member on your behalf. If you want a friend or family member to be contacted while you are in the police station, please email nomorerunway@riseup.net with your name/alias and the name and number of the person that you want contacting, and tell that person they may get a call relating to your arrest. 
Do you have cash, so that you can get home after the police station?

Charges: What might we be arrested for?

Its impossible to definitely say what charge the police might arrest people for. As the action is likely to be a roadblock, the most obvious offence will be ‘Obstruction of the Highway’. However the police may accuse people of other offences. You can look at https://greenandblackcross.org/guides/laws/ for other offences that the police arrest for at protests.

Most important, don’t worry too much about what you get arrested for: quite often the police arrest for one charge and then change them later down the line. They may try to scare you by suggesting or arresting you for something more serious, and they may lie about how serious offences are. If it goes to court everyone will have a common defence and no one will be left behind.

Obstruction of the Highway
 
This power is often used to remove demonstrators who are standing outside buildings, sitting down blockading entrances or roads and in many public order situations.

You could be committing this offence if, without lawful authority or excuse, you willfully obstruct the free passage of the highway. The ‘highway’ includes the road, the pavement, grass verges and private property used as a public thoroughfare.

‘Obstruction’ includes anything that prevents passing and re-passing along the highway. You do not have to be blocking the whole width of the highway. The offence is obstructing the highway itself, not other highway users, so it is not necessary for the to prove that anyone was actually obstructed.

If convicted, the maximum penalty is a £1000 fine. First time offenders would be likely to receive about £200.

If you are stopped and questioned under Heathrows' Byelaw's (covering the area broadly within the the perimeter road) then it is an arrestable offense not to give your name, address, and reason for being in the area. It is a criminal offense to give a false name or address.

If you are crossing the border at an airport you also fall under Schedule 7 (terrorism legislation) If you are detained under this power then you also loose your right to silence in interview. You should not be stopped under schedule 7, if you are please ring

If you are stopped and questioned under Heathrows' Byelaw's (covering the area broadly within the the perimeter road) then it is an arrestable offense not to give your name, address, and reason for being in the area. It is a criminal offense to give a false name or address.

Bindmans public number 020 7833 4433

Again, other charges are possible and we will have a common legal strategy developed in consultation with experienced protest lawyers. 

 

Please share this action with friends and family. We have built numbers in a short space of time and are confident we can reach our target.

These protest will take place alongside other protest action which are much less likely to lead to arrest and are the subject of another pledge.

A "communications blockade" is also being organised which you can do from a distance and is contained in another pledge.

We do not do this in opposition to the people working for Heathrow - we all collude in some ways with a system that is broken, out of control and creating social and environmental injustice across the world. This isn't about blame, but it is about saying this system needs to stop and those organisations which perpetuate and enhance the system are rightly a target of protests to cause disruption. Change has largely come through people being willing to disrupt and confront power structures.

Rising Up!

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