Grim Reaper spotted in Harpenden protest

Man dressed as the Grim Reaper standing in front of Harpenden's Eric Morecambe Centre.

The gathering took place in Harpenden, where ‘Death’ himself could be seen greeting those arriving to take part. - Credit: St Albans Extinction Rebellion

A man dressed as the Grim Reaper took part in a protest against the expansion of Luton Airport on Friday, March 4. 

The gathering took place in Harpenden, where ‘Death’ himself could be seen greeting those arriving to take part.  

The protest was aimed at Luton Rising, the company aiming to increase the capacity of Luton Airport from 18 million to 32 million, who were holding a consultation event at the time. 

The gathering, comprised of no less than 6 environmental groups, fear that almost doubling the number of passengers at Luton Airport would dramatically increase air, noise and traffic pollution in an area which they claim has the “worst air pollution in the UK”. 

The protesters also argue that the changes would be against both Luton Council’s and the Government’s pledges against the climate crisis.  

In line with the expansion, two new car parks would be created at the airport, to accommodate the 40,000 to 50,000 additional car journeys required per day. These car parks would use areas that are currently utilised as green space in Wigmore Park. 

St Albans Extinction Rebellion member Yvonne Hall said: “We must not be fooled by the Luton Rising’s ‘Green controlled growth’ proposals.  

The Grim Reaper stood behind other protesters in Harpenden.

A man dressed as the Grim Reaper took part in a protest against the expansion of Luton Airport on Friday, March 4. - Credit: St Albans Extinction Rebellion

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“Those proposals only focus on the carbon emissions of the ground operations. They ignore the far greater emissions of the 60% additional flights the expansion would bring. That makes their claim to be sustainable little more than sham greenwashing.” 

Meanwhile, Andrew Lambourne of LADACAN (Luton and District Association for the Control of Airport Noise) commented: “Luton Rising is wholly owned by Luton Borough Council, and yet the council has set a target of being carbon neutral by 2040.  

“The council cannot possibly achieve its aim with credibility, when it is actively encouraging the expansion of one of the largest sources of carbon emissions in the county.”