Climate activist successfully fought Heathrow airport expansion in U.K. and has tips for those battling against Island airport domination of Downtown’s air space
By Brian Iler –
Dan Glass — most famous as the UK climate activist who super-glued himself to British PM Gordon Brown — has recently been catapulted into the spotlight after being barred from speaking in the US by the FBI. Glass, with many others, was central to the UK’s impressively successful campaign to halt a proposed third runway at Heathrow Airport.
Glass spoke to a gathering of anti-airport activists in Toronto Oct. 20, including representatives from Land over Landings, the community group fighting the long-proposed Pickering airport. What they learned from the immensely successful campaign to stop Heathrow expansion, will help them to halt the expansion of Toronto Island airport, and begin reducing the impact aviation has on our environment.
Citizen group CommunityAIR invited Glass to share the strategies that worked so well for the Heathrow campaign. The strategies ranged from lobbying to building coalitions to civil disobedience. The result: stronger ties with our friends in the UK, and renewed determination.
The task of finding much more sustainable ways to live and travel is an urgent one in this rapidly warming world. The Toronto Island airport is exclusively devoted to short-haul flights – the worst emitters of greenhouse gases, and the most readily substituted with greener alternatives. Our work here on aviation issues is vastly enriched by the knowledge and experience our friends in the United Kingdom are so keen to share.”
This event marks the launch of Glass’s tour of community and activist efforts across Canada. Touring with U.S. activist Holly Jones, they are focused on exploring, documenting and disseminating social and environmental justice efforts in Canada for British, American and Canadian audiences. The tour will continue through Vancouver, Edmonton and Athabasca.
In the face of relentless expansion of commercial flights out of the Toronto Island Airport, CommunityAIR organizers are fighting to protect Toronto’s waterfront from further devastating pollution. 12,000,000 people enjoy the waterfront and the parks of the Toronto Islands annually.
Iler is chairman of CommunityAIR.