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The crucial role of activism in scrapping Heathrow's third runway

22 May 2010

The Guardian

It was more than four years ago when George Monbiot wrote on these pages: "At last the battlelines have been drawn, and the first major fight over climate change is about to begin. All over the country, a coalition of homeowners and anarchists, Nimbys and internationalists is mustering to fight the greatest future cause of global warming: the growth of aviation."

Now the frontline in that battle, the third runway at Heathrow, has been officially cancelled, and so too have the new runways that Labour planned for Stansted and Gatwick. What began with a strong campaign by local people in west London whose communities were under threat from demolition and staggering levels of noise and air pollution, turned into a climate movement opposing airport expansion, and ultimately led to victory - and with it an example of Labour getting on the wrong side of the political argument.

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