Published: 00:00, 25 November 2002
| Updated: 10:42, 25 November 2002
ABOUT 3,000 people came together in the centre of Rochester to voice their opposition to proposals for an international airport at Cliffe.
The demonstration was staged just days before the end of public consultation on the issue. Old and young stood shoulder to shoulder as the bagpipes played and the protest, organised by the No Airport at Cliffe Action Group, marched along Rochester High Street.
Chatham and Aylesford MP Jonathan Shaw said such a public protest was important. He stressed: "If everyone sat at home and didn't say a thing, how would politicans assess public opinion? This was a very important demonstration, showing people's outright opposition. It will send a very strong and clear message to the Government."
Medway MP Bob Marshall-Andrews said: "These sorts of protests always have an affect. And this is an extraordinarily unitary campaign."
Protestor Pauline Dowsett, of Church Street, Cliffe, said: "We have already had enough upset with the Channel Tunnel link and we really don't want our homes destroyed any more. We thought it was important to come and show our support."
The march was attended by groups actively campaigning against the plans, including the Dickens Country Protection Society, the RSPB, Gravesham MP Chris Pond and opponents of the plan from Essex.