12 SEPTEMBER 2016

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Article from BTNews 12 SEPTEMBER 2016

AN EXTRA COMMENT

Anarchists take over London City Airport

Last Tuesday (6 September) a group of radicals, described by one airline official as “a bunch of anarchists”, paddled across the King George V Dock, sat themselves on the runway and effectively closed London City Airport from 05:40. The airport did not reopen until midnight.

Two very serious questions must be asked.

Firstly, why did it require six hours-plus to remove nine unarmed protesters? Assuming the airport security did not have enough staff, clearly the Metropolitan Police must be organised for such a contingency. We counted 17 vehicles on the runway and perhaps 50 personnel. An overkill?

And was the BBC tipped off, as allegedly it was in the Sir Cliff Richard case? If this is so, does it have a statutory requirement to contact the airport and police? The BBC helicopter was quickly on the scene and the group was given unprecedented coverage on the 12 o’clock news, with their spokesperson, hardly articulate, offering quite ridiculous statistics unchallenged by the reporter. The newspapers, being newspapers without any social responsibility, reported on the protesters' every word.

As a publicity stunt, the anarchists won. But did they gain any friends? Most unlikely.

Stiff prison sentences are required. The travelling public does not deserve such unnecessary disruption.

www.londoncityairport.com

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Anthony Keane, Dublin

Extraordinary. Possibly understandable that airport security did not have sufficient power, but surely the Met have? By use of bolt-cutters [every airport fire vehicle has them] they could have cut the restraining chains and removed them in a matter of twenty or thirty minutes at most? Whose side were the Met on?


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