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Aviation Justice Express tour 2011

Tour begins! Kicked out of the US, but back via Skype

We kicked off the Aviation Justice Express tour with a community meeting at a diner in Howard Beach, New York City. What had originally been billed as a friendly consultation with British activists went high-tech, with the two British speakers beaming in via Skype, despite being not receiving visas to speak in the United States.

Aviation expansion in the New York area is at a crossroads, with the Regional Plan Association recommending construction of a massive runway at JFK airport to be built in ecologically rich Jamaica Bay. A wide range of New Yorkers and their elected officials oppose the expansion project, citing environment, noise, and other issues.

British environmentalist John Stewart, dubbed the “most effective green activist” in the UK, shared the story of how neighbors, environmentalists, and fiscal conservatives teamed up to stop the plans for an expensive and environmentally damaging runway project at London’s Heathrow Airport. New York aviation sustainability expert Frans Verhagen joined award-winning youth climate activist Dan Glass in describing how young British climate activists got involved, adding energy to the campaign, and helping amplify the voices of neighbors impacted by the project.

Our plans for the Aviation Justice Express tour were briefly disrupted when Glass wasn’t issued a visa, and Stewart was rudely barred from entering, a move that shocked environmentalists across the United States and Europe. But we decided to soldier on, because these stories are just too important to ignore. New York our organizer Dr. Verhagen rounded up tech gear, and we were delighted that the video links worked great, though we still need help with workflow and equipment.

Are you videoconferencing-savvy? Please contact us. We need some advice.

Live in New York? Please come out to our big event this Tuesday:

Sustainable Aviation: Perspectives of British and American aviation activists
A forum with four panelists with audience participation.
Tuesday, October 4, 5.30-7:00 PM
Free admission
Moose Hall, 117-33 Myrtle Avenue, Queens, New York 11418


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