Celebrities don't help the cause, say protesters

Stansted protest - Plane Stupid wants grassroots movement to drive mass mobilisation

The protesters who disrupted Stansted Airport this week say the Government should not rely on celebrities to head any major climate change campaign.

On Monday, Plane Stupid caused scores of flights to be cancelled. Police have since charged 49 protesters who breached Stansted's security fence during the protest.

Plane Stupid spokesman Robbie Gilletts responded to Ed Miliband's call for a 'popular mobilisation' by saying that a celeb-focused campaign is 'not what we need'.

He added: 'Largely we agree with Miliband. We do need a mass movement on climate change. But we need a grass-roots campaign: not one about celebrities (but) one that wouldn't allow itself to be corrupted by Labour leadership.'

Gilletts added he believed press coverage of the Stansted protests had largely been sympathetic to Plane Stupid, despite TNS Global revealing that 14 of 19 national news stories on 9 December had been unsympathetic (figures above).

Gilletts noted that negative coverage had focused on the disruption to travellers and the portrayal of the protesters as 'upper crusties'. But he said the stunt had achieved its aims of gaining wider exposure, and more would follow. 'The scientific basis for what we're doing gives our message a lot of strength,' he said.

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