Thursday, March 05, 2009

Alleged Intimidation By Airport Staff Against Objectors

We thought it was about time we revealed the alleged intimidation that some objectors have faced over the past year, the most recent being reported just 2 weeks ago:

Just when LCA and LB Newham had thought they'd got away with pushing through the application for 50% more flights without any committed and full consultation - up popped a group of dedicated community residents in the shape of Fight the Flights. Clearly we are an 'inconvenience' to them. The rest is history of course, but the fact that LCA had to get in the alleged PR mercenaries Hill and Knowlton to deal with the objectors was quite a result in our view: it cost LCA a six figure sum and hey, we are still here, growing by the day, and most definitely we are never going to stop scrutinising their and LB Newham's conduct, ability to operate within the law, and of course their behaviour.

So the idea that some intimidation has been alleged is not really surprising: it seems that desperate times, and misguided loyalty lead some individuals to desperate and appalling behaviour. They just don't seem to like anyone who doesn't agree with them, though quite frankly with the following behaviours, you'll probably be glad you don't:

1. Last year an objector received an email full of classist, racist, vile comments - it went on to threaten objectors that if they persisted to object they would just simply be ''run over''.

It was signed off as "an airport employee".

2. In Spring of last year, an FTF campaigner was asked to meet a photographer from The Docklands Newspaper on the Sir Steve Redgrave Bridge, at the Royal Albert Basin. This bridge is immediately at the end of the east end of the runway, in the crash zone.

The photographer had just come from a wine reception at London City Airport. After the photographs were taken the two residents walked back to Gallions Reach DLR - they were aware of a erratically driven white van. It was believed that the vehicle was a Ford Fiesta van. The individual driving the van, a male, looked aggressively at the residents, twisting around as he passed and slowing down. The residents felt it was strange and then thought nothing more of it. They then arrived at the DLR to see the white van parked up in the middle reservation with the driver, dressed in a white business shirt, twisted around in his seat glaring angrily at them. He then wheel span off, whilst mouthing something as they got nearer to where he was parked.

3. Just two weeks ago on February 14, resident campaigners were contacted by ITV regarding the crash landing of the British Airways plane the night before. The airport were asked to be interviewed and declined.

The campaigners arranged to meet with ITV on Sir Steve Redgrave Bridge, close to Gallions Reach DLR, the same location as the previous incident. Whilst waiting for the set up of cameras, the campaigners told us that a dark people mover with a large, aggressive looking male passed by tooting, swearing and shouting. Ten minutes later the people mover travels back over the bridge, window down, tooting, shouting, swearing and making a hand and wrist movement out of the window. This was witnessed by the ITV reporter and cameraman.

Can it be a coincidence? Bearing in mind that around a 1000 residents wrote in to object to expansion, and over 600 signed petitions to object - then there is without doubt huge objection to LCA in the area and therefore huge support for the FTF campaign. On top of that in all the lives of the campaigners who experienced the events, they have never seen or experienced anything like it before. Of course, well balanced individuals would not behave in such a way as the three individuals behind these incidents.

FTF takes these incidents very seriously and will be reporting them in the future directly to the Police. Number plates and email IP's will clearly identify the individuals responsible so be it on their own heads if they wish to behave in such a vile manner in the future.