Sentenced for following conscience in Plane Stupid action

Quaker activist Sam Sender of Ealing Quaker Meeting said he had been following his conscience when he protested against the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

He was given a six weeks sentence, suspended for 12 months, plus 120 hours' community service, at Willesden Magistrates Court on Wednesday 24 February. He is one of thirteen activists found guilty of aggravated trespass and entering a security restricted area at Heathrow airport during an action carried out by members of the independent grassroots pressure group, Plane Stupid.

picture shows a poster on a bus stop, of Sam Sender chained to airport runway fence
Peacefully protesting to preserve the environment. Photo credit Anne van Staveren, of Plane Stupid poster

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain, said

“The Quaker community has a long tradition of supporting members who feel impelled by their faith to break the law. We uphold Sam Sender whom we know to be acting from personal conviction.

“His action is consistent with the commitment of British Quakers to become a low-carbon community for the sake of environmental sustainability. Quakers' representative body recorded his name in their court and prison register; we are praying for Sam Sender and his family."


Search your conscience deeply

- Quaker faith & practice


Quakers turn to Quaker faith & practice for advice. Advice 35 says this: 'Respect the laws of the state but first let your loyalty be to God's purposes. If you feel impelled by strong conviction to break the law, search your conscience deeply. Ask your meeting for prayerful support which will give you strength as a right way becomes clear.'

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