Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 02 September 2020

Climate Emergency: South Coast Activists Target Brighton's British Airways i360

Recently climate and social justice demonstrators kayaked to the burnt out West Pier in front of Brighton"s landmark i360 attraction and draped it in a twelve-metre banner, which reading "Climate Emergency – Our House Is On Fire."

Other activists attached ten-metre long banners to railings and spray-painted the street near the i360 complex, with slogans such as "Join The Rebellion", "The Sea Levels Are Rising And So Are We", "Fossil Fuels Are Killing Us", "We Want To Live" and "BA, Your Flights Are Killing Us."

Activists also scaled a building in the i360 complex, removed the British Airways flag, and replaced it with a banner reading "Our house is on fire."

The stunts were in protest at i360 sponsor British Airways' role both in the developing climate crisis, and in controversial deportations of UK-born citizens under the government's "hostile environment" policy.

The activists unfurled the banners at the end of a march, named "We All Want to Live", which was jointly organised by local Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter groups.

The protesters demanded the immediate government action to combat the climate crisis and to address racial justice. 

The march took place on the Brighton seafront and was attended by an estimated three hundred concerned members of the public.

The demonstration was part of a local build-up to Extinction Rebellion's "national rebellion" in London. 

From Tuesday 1st September onwards, the organisation will be demonstrating in several locations including Parliament Square, reiterating its demands for climate action. 

Black Lives Matter Brighton and Extinction Rebellion Brighton collaborated in the protest in recognition that the climate crisis, climate justice and the struggle for social justice championed by Black Lives Matter are deeply interconnected.

Speaking of the aviation sector's contribution to the climate crisis, Claudia Fisher, of Extinction Rebellion Brighton, said: 

"The UK is seeking to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050, but if demand is unchecked passenger numbers are predicted to rise by 70% and aviation will become the largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

"We can't rely on future technologies to fix this, we have to act now to halve critical rises in global temperature. 

"The government has given loan bailouts to airlines totalling £1.5bn since the coronavirus outbreak, with no environmental conditions attached.

"Ryanair is the latest company to secure a £600m loan from the scheme, despite its chief executive, Michael O'Leary's outspoken condemnation of such bailouts across Europe as uncompetitive state aid. British Airways secured a £300m loan and EasyJet received £600m."

A spokesperson from Black Lives Matter explained why the organisation took part in the protest:

"If Black Lives Matter (and especially if All Lives Matter), our government must put an end to the hostile environment and racist, xenophobic, anti-immigration policies. 

Deportation flights have still gone ahead in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, putting already endangered lives at an even greater risk, and airlines have profited from this.

"British Airways is complicit in the hostile environment and make £30million+ per year from racist deportation contracts with the Home Office. 

"There is still no justice for Jimmy Mubenga, whose final words were 'I Can't Breathe' before he was murdered on a British Airways flight while being deported.

"British Airways are yet to investigate his death almost a decade later and continue to profit from deporting Black people and People of Colour to countries where their lives may be in danger."

"If Brighton and Hove is to become an anti-racist city, we cannot have a tower looming over us that stands for racism, xenophobia, and social injustice. 

"We cannot have a landmark that represents monetary profit over Black and Brown lives.

"Climate change is already taking its toll on the Global South, and will continue to disproportionately impact Black people and People of Colour all over the world.

"We demand Brighton and Hove City Council end British Airways sponsorship of the i360.

"British Airways are not innocent."

Extinction Rebellion Brighton is the local branch of a rapidly growing global movement. 

Extinction Rebellion's ultimate aim is to leave a world fit for the generations to come. 

Its members are committed to taking non-violent direct action to force the government to put the climate crisis at the top of its agenda. 

by: Mike Cobley


Charity Winter Streets Project will be providing more survival packs for people living on the streets in Brighton and Hove thanks to a fundraising drive through group collecting platform Collection Pot by third party enterprise support organisation Rimini Street Limited.

In what was a year without much light, one young Brighton star shone brighter than all the rest
Credit Andy Sturmey

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, has called on music fans and nightlife lovers to share their views in a Parliamentary survey on nightlife.

Goods that many people take for granted have started the New Year with a smile as they were bundled up ready for Christmas and gifted to residents at a Brighton homeless hostel.
Credit John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The latest series of livestream talks featuring celebrated authors and TV personalities begin this month, produced by Fane Online in partnership with Brighton Dome, ideal entertainment during lockdown evenings at home.

When Brighton-born filmmaker Luke Bradford travelled to Tanzania to make a documentary which featured members of a community living with albinism, he met Florence.

Brighton Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has joined businesses, MPs, faith leaders, academics and campaigning organisations in calling on the Prime Minister to introduce legally binding targets to stem the growing tide of plastic pollution.  
Credit Andy Sturmey

"I think, how the fuck did that happen, because we did all the wrong things: we didn't bother too much with America but we're the biggest selling live act in the UK." The Stranglers' bassist JJ Burnel is talking about a period from early punk until 1990. But now, thirty years later, the band has announced a final full tour of the UK.
Credit Rick Guest

One Dance UK has teamed up with independent director, filmmaker and photographer Rick Guest and his collaborators visual effects artist Rob Rae, and dancer Jamal Sterrett Phoenix to debut his new film Flow state, part of an on-going series which aims to promote mental wellbeing amongst the dance sector.

Brighton-based trans-national, genre-blending, musical riot Genn's new single Feel, is a luscious blend of 70s psychedelia and shoegaze, and an appetite-whetting taste of what's to come.

Brighton's Green Councillors are among those who have slammed 'discriminatory,' rule changes that could see migrants deported if they become homeless, saying new rules will harm and undermine vital homelessness prevention work in the city.

A Sussex-based author fought censors, do-gooders, powerful unions, and corrupt business tycoons, and now the man behind Britain's comic book boom has told his story.

Fickle Friends ended 2020 on a high when they released Radio 1 playlisted Million, now they now start 2021 in the similar style by releasing new EP Weird Years (Season 1), alongside a new video for the EP track IRL.

This Thursday, Latitude Festival and international charity ActionAid will bring some of the best comedians together for a virtual stand-up comedy gig in support of women and girls leading change.

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd