PICTURES: Mass protests in Weston over airport expansion

PUBLISHED: 17:30 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:20 11 February 2020

Over 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand.       Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Over 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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Hundreds of campaigners gathered in Weston on Saturday for a day of protest against Bristol Airport's controversial expansion plans.

Extinction Rebellion protestors mass die-in outside Weston town hall.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion protestors mass die-in outside Weston town hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Campaigners from the Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) and members of Extinction Rebellion groups from across North Somerset came together for a day of activities at the Town Hall and beach.

The plans, which would see Bristol Airport expand its facilities to accommodate 12 million passengers a year, will be decided at a special meeting of North Somerset Council's planning committee, at the town hall, at 6pm, tonight (Monday).

Extinction Rebellion protestors mass die-in outside Weston town hall.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion protestors mass die-in outside Weston town hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Saturday's 'shenanigans' included the unveiling of a future statue dedicated to the councillors who voted against the expansion, a march through the town centre, and a mass heads in the sand protest on the beach.

Paula Birtwistle, from Extinction Rebellion Weston, said: "The aim of the day was to emphasise the connection for people between the airport's expansion plans and the climate crisis.

Extinction Rebellion protestors mass die-in outside Weston town hall.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion protestors mass die-in outside Weston town hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

"We decided to use art to show people the real and tragic impact our actions have on the world, and the people and animals we share it with and that we do have choices in what happens and this decision is happening in our town."

A vigil is also being held outside the town hall on Monday evening, with more protestors expected to congregate outside the town hall in the run to the meeting.

Extinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston 
Grand Pier to the town hall.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston Grand Pier to the town hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Tarisha Finnegan-Clarke, coordinator of BAAN added: "This peaceful vigil is the culmination of a year of extensive campaigning against Bristol Airport's destructive plans to expand.

"North Somerset Council has declared a climate emergency and it is crucial the councillors on the planning committee follow through with this commitment.

Extinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston 
Grand Pier to the town hall.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston Grand Pier to the town hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

"This is one of the biggest decisions the council will make which will affect the lives of so many people in the region and beyond."

Council planning officers have recommended the plans for approval subject to subject to necessary transport, road and other environmental improvements, plus controls over noise and aircraft movements.

Extinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston 
Grand Pier to the town hall.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston Grand Pier to the town hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

A spokesman for Bristol Airport said it 'welcomed the conclusions reached by the officers report' and 'hoped they would be echoed by members of the planning and regulatory committee'.

Extinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston 
Grand Pier to the town hall.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston Grand Pier to the town hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Extinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston 
Grand Pier to the town hall.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston Grand Pier to the town hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Extinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston 
Grand Pier to the town hall.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston Grand Pier to the town hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Extinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston 
Grand Pier to the town hall.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion Bristol airport demonstration and march from Weston Grand Pier to the town hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Over 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONOver 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Over 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONOver 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Over 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONOver 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Over 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONOver 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Over 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONOver 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Over 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONOver 100 Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach putting their heads in the sand. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Extinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONExtinction Rebellion protestors on Weston beach. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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