Manchester Airport On Trial

News from Manchester Airport On Trial

Begins Monday 21st February 2011 –  9:00am

Come to court to show your support

Traffford Magistrates’ Court, Ashton Lane, Sale, M33 7NR




In May 2010, seventeen people took direct action at Manchester Airport, temporarily shutting it down. They did this to stop some of the 5 million tonnes of carbon emissions that the airport is responsible for annually and in opposition to plans to destroy family homes and biodiversity spots to expand the World Freight Centre.

At at time of massive public spending cuts, the aviation industry continues to receive £9 billion a year of tax breaks whilst actively wrecking our future.


During the first trial in December 2010, eleven of the activists were found guilty of wilful obstruction of the highway.   The remaining six are now pleading not guilty to the charge of aggravated trespass. They will appear in court to argue that their actions were both justified and necessary to reduce emissions in the face of the damaging effects of climate change .


Using the defence of necessity – the defendants will argue that they acted to prevent CO2 emissions to try and stop death and serious injury caused by climate change.   This will involve calling expert witnesses to court to provide evidence on the climate science and impacts of aviation.  Expert witness statements have been provided by Professor Kevin Anderson (Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research – University of Manchester) on aviation and climate change, Dr Robin Stott on the health impacts of climate change, Dr Geoff Meaden on the impacts of climate change in the North West, John McDonnell MP on the failings of the parliamentary process to address the issue aviation and climate change, Councillor Martin Eakins on Manchester City Council’s approach to rising emissions from Manchester Airport, representatives of the Aviation Environment Federation, John Stewart from Airportwatch and local Hasty Lane resident Peter Johnson.  Some of these expert witnesses will appear in court to give live evidence during the trial.



How you can help:


1.  Come to court to show your support.


2.  Write a statement of support – as an individual or an organisation.  You can see existing statements here:


3.  Link us on your website or blog –


4.  Follow us on Facebook (Manchester Airport on Trial) and Twitter (AirportOnTrial) to hear how things are going


5.  Take action yourself.


The trial is expected to last three to four days.


How to find us: Traffford Magistrates’ Court Ashton Lane Sale M33 7NR is in the centre of Sale situated on the corner of the A56 (Washway Road) and Ashton Lane.

Tram: Take the Tram to Sale and turn left down School Road and through the precinct to Washway Road.

Bike: Cycle along the canal towe path to Sale turn right down School Road and through the precinct to Washway Road and the court building is straight ahead.

Bus: You can get the 263 Arriva bus from Picadilly


Details of the trial are on the website and you can leave a message of support

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