Hundreds expected to join mourning march against airport expansion

An XR protest in Keynsham in January against the airport expansion


Hundreds of people will be marching to Bristol Airport from nearby Felton Common on Saturday (29th August) in a staged ‘mourning procession’.

The protest is being coordinated by local community, environmental, and Extinction Rebellion (XR) groups and will be socially distanced, single file and silent. It is being organised around the theme of death.

Ben Moss, spokesperson for the organisers of the march, said: “When the refusal of Bristol International Airport (BIA) expansion plans became international news in February this year, everyone thought we’d seen the death of the terrifying fantasy of an expanded airport in this time of ecological and climate emergency. We were wrong.

“Despite overwhelming public objections to the idea, enforced by an outright refusal from North Somerset Council to the planning application, Canadian-owned BIA is appealing against this decision. This appeal, and Bristol Airport’s determination to expand, portents a death of many things. It is not just about the loss of clean air, biodiversity and the health and wellbeing of local people; a democratic process, underpinned by massive public objection, is being threatened, whilst lies about economic benefits and carbon-neutrality are spread with flagrant disregard to the truth.

“We’re in a climate and ecological emergency, with a global COVID pandemic surrounding us too. Death is all around us. The last thing on earth we need is more flights from an expanded airport, burning more carbon and contributing to loss of human life around the globe.”

Izzy Russell, local student and environmental campaigner, added: “So many of us locals are absolutely enraged by the airport’s decision to appeal that we have decided to meet in common opposition to the planned expansion and march – safely, with social distancing in place – up to the airport, in a themed procession.

“We’re gathering on Felton Common through low-carbon means – such as walking, bike, and bus – at 11.30am and heading up to the airport at 12 to demonstrate our feelings about this disastrous decision.

“We’re asking for people to come and join us to make public our common objection to Bristol Airport’s expansion plans. We want to live, and we’re going to make sure BIA know this.”

Ben Moss added: “We have been working closely with the local council and the police to design the day to bring maximum attention to the issues whilst causing minimum disruption and risk. Our complaint is not with those travelling on that day, but with the decision-makers and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan who own the airport.”