A crowd of people has taken to the streets in Barcelona this Sunday to demand that the controversial expansion of the El Prat airport, today paralyzed by the Government, and of any airport infrastructure due to the climate emergency be discarded. Summoned by Zeroport and ‘Xarxa per la Justícia Climàtica’ –two platforms that bring together hundreds of environmental and social organizations–, the protesters have occupied Tarragona street under the slogan “Expansions, no. In the fight for the climate, health and life”.
The Generalitat knew since July that Aena’s proposal for El Prat affected the protected area
Scattered between the Països Catalans and Espanya squares, the attendees chanted slogans such as “climate justice now” and “no to enlargement” or “more courgettes and fewer planes”, while they waited for the parliaments to begin, which have been delayed after a musical performance. “The extension is not parked, they are negotiating and it is proposed to resume it in five years or even one, when this goes against the climate declarations signed by the Administrations,” declared Dani Pardo, one of Zeroport’s spokesmen and member, from the protest. of the ABDT platform.
The cancellation of the Aena project due to disagreements with the Generalitat was experienced as a victory by the environmental movement, especially since this means that the protected lagoon of La Ricarda will not be damaged. But the entities, which had already called the demonstration for this Sunday, wanted to maintain it. Not only because they do not trust that the plan has been parked forever, but because they consider their list of demands is still in force: from the closure of deficit airports and the elimination of flights that have a rail alternative to better protection of the entire area of the Llobregat Delta.
“For me, the Ricarda thing is not at all the main reason we have come,” said Joan Vallvé, from the Guinardó neighborhood of Barcelona, who has come together with his wife and daughter.
The concentration has 40 columns from different neighborhoods of Barcelona and other Catalan cities, some of them connected to territorial and environmental claims that have nothing to do with El Prat Airport, but which see in this protest a catalyst of unrest over the climate emergency and the current economic model. In this way, they have been cited in the demonstration from the Stop Olympic Games platform, against the Olympic project for the Pyrenees in 2030, to groups for the right to housing and against mass tourism. Also the agrarian union Unión de Pagesos.
The attendees are expected to include different political representatives. The attendance of the ‘comuns’ is taken for granted, who from the municipalities of El Prat and Barcelona have fought against the enlargement and encouraged the protest movement. Several councilors of the party had planned to attend, but not the mayor Ada Colau, although in the morning she launched a message on Telegram: “Let’s say ‘no’ to airport expansions, ‘no’ to climate denialism and economic denialism that puts us in danger”. Members of the CUP have also attended.
One of the unknowns for days, which was cleared up on Friday, is whether members of the Government would attend, as ERC hinted at in its day and which gave the Government arguments to paralyze investment. Finally, no one from the Executive has attended, but Republicans Meritxell Serret, Raül Romeva and other party officials have.