On Wednesday 5th August Ealing Green Party hosted 2 talks on air pollution in Ealing, Amrik Mahi being from campaign group C.A.S.H. (Clean Air for Southall and Hayes) and the other from air quality analyst, Tim Webb.
Are we closer justice for the residents of Southall? How has the lockdown affected the air quality in that part of Ealing? Let’s find out! Clean Air for Southall and Hayes Amrik Mahi will be giving us an update on the Southall Waterside (Gasworks) development issue.
This follows the recent explosive public meeting between CASH, local politicians Julian Bell, Dr Onka Sahota and Virendra Sharma and interested parties including air quality scientists and The Guardian newspaper.
A new video has been released, telling the story of the Gasworks scandal through the eyes of the residents that live in Southall.
Former Green Party candidate Meena Hans, who commissioned the video, says “The people of Southall are currently facing a grave social injustice.
“For the past three years, they have been breathing in a toxic mixture. This includes arsenic, benzene, naphthalene and many other known carcinogenics. People in the area have been becoming ill with very similar symptoms, including an increase in cancer.
“The toxic air has been caused by the development of the old gasworks site (Southall Waterside) by Berkeley Group. Boris Johnson approved the development when he was the Mayor of London.
“The residents have not been supported by their local representatives. They have not been supported by Ealing Council or by their MP. But here we have given some of the residents affected a chance to tell their stories.
“Everyone has the right to breathe clean air and not be poisoned in their own homes and streets.
Compared to some of the comrades who will be taking this action alongside me, I won’t be going that long without food (2 ½ – 3 days). But it should still be an interesting experience.
We are doing this for two reasons: firstly, we wish to highlight the madness and short termism of a government that wants to build an unnecessary 3rd runway at Heathrow. This expansion will bring negligible economic benefits to the country as a whole (as has been confirmed by the government’s own economic studies on the subject).
So the benefits will be little – however the impact on an already strained environment will be great. Air pollution, noise pollution and traffic congestion, already considerable in London, will be further proliferated.
But the greatest price we will pay for this vanity project is the acceleration effect towards catastrophic climate change that this will have. Aviation is one of the biggest contributors towards an atmosphere already heaving with human generated CO2.
And here we have a government that pays lip service to climate action while favouring the car industry and pushing fracking (even being prepared to override democracy) at the expense of clean, renewable energy sources.
We need to make a stand, now.
3 Line Whip
Jeremy Corbyn, if he is serious about climate action as he claims he is, needs to impose a 3 line whip on his Labour MP’s to vote AGAINST this disastrous expansion.
That’s why we’ll be sitting outside Labour Party HQ (105 Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1E 6QT) every day from Saturday 9th June: to put pressure on Mr Corbyn to do exactly this.
I will be with them on Saturday 9th between Midday and 4PM, then on Sunday 10th and Monday 11th June between 8AM and 1PM.
And then my hardier comrades will continue the hunger strike into the week.
Why not come and say hello to us, and lend us your support?
Ealing Green Party is seriously concerned about air pollution in the capital. Below is our open letter to the Mayor of London.
Dear Mr Khan
We are aware that you are starting to prioritise the vital issue of air pollution that is a blight on this nation’s capital. However, we find ourselves in agreement with a direct action group that we have recently allied ourselves with: Stop Killing Londoners (SKL). Basically, Mr Khan, you are not doing enough, and the time frame for the actions you are taking is ponderous. There are people who are dying now Mayor Khan. The time has come for radical, urgent action – and you are still dithering.
SKL are activists with passion, who care deeply about their cause. So much so that several of them were prepared to be arrested for what they believed in, because they recognise the urgency inherent in allowing people to continuously breathe in toxic fumes. One of these activists, Roger Hallam, wrote you his own powerful letter – a letter that was composed while languishing in a prison cell and on hunger strike: a sacrifice made of his own volition.
We endorse every word of Roger’s letter, and urge you to meet with Stop Killing Londoners.
We are endorsing the message that SKL are sending to you, not just because we have listened to their arguments and been convinced by them, but because we have discovered, through our own research in Ealing, the scale of the problem that we face in London.
It was through this research that we discovered that the air outside schools such as Cardinal Wiseman High School in Greenford can be up to TWICE the legal limit for nitrogen oxide. Think about it. This is not Oxford Street, or Heathrow airport, this is a school in a supposedly “leafy” suburb of London – and it is saturated with toxic chemicals that will deform lungs, shorten life expectancy and cause diseases such as asthma.
In such circumstances it is reasonable to conclude that laws that allow such pollution to occur cannot be fit for purpose, and therefore it is valid to (peacefully) defy those laws.
Which brings us back to Stop Killing Londoners.
Mr Khan, we request, in the most heartfelt terms, that you move with more urgency to combat the deadly pollution that surrounds us in this great city. There is nothing more important.