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27. Februar 2012, Frankfurter Flughafen, Terminal 1

Dreizehnte Montagsdemonstration im Terminal

Rede von John Stewart, Präsident der UECNA, der Europäischen Vereinigung gegen die schädlichen Auswirkungen des Luftverkehrs:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak with you. Your protest is inspiring. I bring you the good wishes of all the airport campaigners in the UK and indeed across Europe .

Your protest is sending important messages to governments all over Europe . In the UK we are told that, if Heathrow doesn't expand, the flights will go to Frankfurt or to Schiphol or to Charles de Gaulle. When we stopped the third runway at Heathrow, we were told that the UK economy would suffer because businesses would go to cities, like Frankfurt , where there is less opposition to airport expansion. Your great protests mean that they will never, ever be able to say that again.

I was in Frankfurt during the protests before the runway was built. It is amazing the protests are still happening after the runway has been built. This is unprecedented. You are making history. I don't think there have ever been protests like this after a runway has been built has been built anywhere in the world.

It is the second time you have made history. The first big civil disobedience protests against new runways in Europe took place many decades ago when tens of thousands of people occupied the woods outside Frankfurt to try to stop the third runway. Now you are making history again.

I am sure that the authorities are hoping that eventually you will stop your protests and stay at home on a Monday night to look after your garden or watch the television. The strategy of the authorities in any country is to sit back and wait until the protestors get tired and frustrated and give up and go home.

Don't let them win, my friends! Always remember, however tired and frustrated you become, you have real power when you are standing here in this terminal, defiant. You are the authorities worst nightmare! Because you are law-abiding citizens who simply refuse to go away.

I arrived this afternoon on the train from Munich . I had been asked to speak with the campaigners there who are opposed to the third runway the airport wants to build. I read about the protests in Berlin as well. There is the very real possibility that with these protests happening all over Germany at the same time, you are in a position to put real pressure on the Government and on the airports to move away from an aviation policy based on unlimited expansion and develop a new policy which takes account of the interests of local residents and of the planet.

In the UK over the last ten years there were protests against airport expansion right across the country. The protests involved local residents, climate change campaigners and politicians from all political parties. The result is that the new Government is committed to building no new runways. It could happen in Germany as well.

But what we are trying to develop in UECNA is a European movement against airport expansion. Later this year we are hoping to have a conference of airport campaigners from across Europe . It is only when we come together that we will have the power to challenge the power of European governments and the aviation industry.

Their policies are outdated. No major city in Europe needs a new runway to ensure its economy continues to thrive. Aviation has a role to play in the world. But in a world where climate change is threatening, where cheap oil is running out and where local residents have had enough of the noise, it will be a diminished role. That is the reality. That is the future. Your message is a message of hope for the future. The fourth runway is a message of dark despair from the past. Keep proclaiming your message in word, song and dance in this terminal. It's inspiring.

I will you all the very best.

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