Protesters stormed the tarmac at one of Britain’s busiest airports, shut down two airports in Thailand and invaded a runway in Athens — and some experts see a worrisome pattern.
In the post 9/11 era, protests at sensitive international airports have become an effective way to rattle nerves and publicize causes.
Airports of Thailand security officers once again patrol the Suvarnabhumi Airport, which anti-government protesters have shut down for nearly a week, after the announcement that the protesters would leave the airport in the morning Tuesday Dec. 2, 2008 in Bangkok Thailand. Thailand’s Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat says he has accepted a court ruling to step down because of electoral fraud committed by his political party.(AP Photo/Ed Wray)
Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security International, said there was an “increasing trend for demonstrators to shut down airports.”
Environmental action group Plane Stupid targeted Stansted Airport, northeast of London, in the most recent protest, cutting through its perimeter fence Monday and briefly knocking out Britain’s third-busiest airport.
By RAPHAEL SATTER, Associated Press Writer
Police said Tuesday they had charged 49 people with aggravated trespass — which, at worst, carries a three month sentence.
Last month, a massive group of Thai anti-government protesters invaded Bangkok’s two main airports, leaving more than 300,000 travelers stranded and paralyzed the nation’s tourism industry.
For the protesters, the airport siege ended in triumph: A Thai court last week ordered the dissolution of the ruling People’s Power Party for electoral fraud.
It was too early to tell whether the Thai protest would inspire others elsewhere, but, in Britain at least, activists vowed to keep up the pressure on the country’s airports.
The Europe‘s biggest airport by passenger volume, in their sights.demonstrators — speaking to British media during the protests — said they had ,
One industry-watcher said that was no idle threat.