08/08/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Top 10 Green Protest Stunts

A paper plane protest outside the Department of Transport today is likely to attract attention to the airport expansion debate, and show, once again, that daft stunts are far from stupid.

As campaigners bombard the Department of Transport with a barrage of paper planes in protest against plans to continue to expand our airports, the Guardian brings you a fairly random list of our top 10 campaign stunts.

Before we begin, let's quickly define "stunt"? According to the Oxford Concise dictionary a stunt is "something unusual done to attract attention". And the reason that campaigners come up with daft stunts is to attract attention to their cause, but it's true that they can often appear to be attracting attention to themselves. The best stunts get a tonne of attention, but, it must be admitted, not all of them have the desired effect.

1) Dow Chemical promises to clean up Bhopal
It's a controversial stunt which still divides opinion. When a member of the Yes Men, a group of US culture jammers , managed to somehow wangle an appearance on BBC news posing as a spokesman for Dow Chemical in 2004, he shocked the world by promising to liquidate Union Carbide, the company responsible for the chemical disaster in Bhopal, India, which has never been cleaned up, and finally right the situation. Hours later a real representative from Dow Chemical went on air to deny the announcement of a clean-up was true.

2) Swampy
When pictures of a teenager in tunnels beneath a proposed new road in Devon were published in the papers in 1996, for some reason Swampy, as he was nicknamed, became a national star. He even appeared on Have I got News for You. Soon after that Swampy vanished from the public eye.

Read the full list of campaign stunts.


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