Climate protestors block airport for private jets and helicopters in ritzy Hamptons

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Climate protesters block off access to the airport in East Hampton, NY on Monday (New York Communities for Change/Twitter)
Climate protesters block off access to the airport in East Hampton, NY on Monday (New York Communities for Change/Twitter)

Protesters blocked access to the East Hampton, New York, airport for a climate protest inside a town famous for its wealthy summer visitors.

One of the groups involved in the action on Monday, New York Communities for Change (NYCC), tweeted: “Sorry Hamptonites, no private jets or helicopters leaving today!”

Monday’s airport protest continues a weekend of climate protests in the Hamptons region. The East Hampton Star reports that protesters have been arrested during actions on Friday, Sunday and Monday.

“The billionaires and 1% are out of control. They are taking almost all the wealth we generate, evicting us, and even causing the planet to overheat,” NYCC tweeted.

“With these actions, we are demanding a tax on the rich to pay for urgent climate action and affordable housing,” Alice Hu from NYCC told The Independent via email.

“We came here to the Hamptons to say that it’s time for billionaires to pay their fair share and pay to fix what they broke.”

According to the group’s Twitter account, activists had blocked off a main road in Southampton, New York, on Friday, protested along a beach on Saturday, blocked off a main road in East Hampton on Sunday and continued with the airport protest on Monday.

Ten people were arrested in total during the weekend protests, according to reporting at the Star. NYCC said on Twitter that at least five people had been arrested at the airport on Monday. Ms Hu subsequently said there had been six arrests on Monday.

During the protest, at least one helicoper and one plane took off, per the Star. Ms Hu told the Observer that the airport protest lasted around an hour and a half.

The Hamptons have a reputation as a playground for the ultra-wealthy, with many celebrities, professional athletes and high-powered business executives owning homes in the area.

“The Hamptons is a place where the super-rich hide away from the rest of the world, the world they are helping to kill with the rise of emissions and inequality,” Ms Hu told Observer.

In 2015, the wealthiest 10 per cent of people on earth were responsible for almost half of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, per a 2020 report. The wealthist 1 per cent of all people alone were responsible for 15 per cent of all emissions that year, notes a seperate report from the United Nations.

In contrast, the poorest half of all people were responsible for just 7 per cent of global emissions, according to the UN report.

This article has been updated to include a comment from New York Communities for Change, and update the number of arrests made on Monday.

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