The court case of the ‘biggest pre-emptive arrest’ of climate activists began today in Nottingham. A year and half after being pre-emptively arrested alongside more than 100 other people, 20 activists have begun what could be a month long trial.
The defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass for planning to safely shut down Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station for a week and in doing so stopping 150,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted. The activists are going to be admitting the intent, however they maintain that they are not guilty of a crime.
Their defence is based on the argument that the activists acted out of necessity, to prevent further death and serious injury. 300,000 people per year already lose their lives due to the effects of climate change and half a billion are at ‘extreme risk’. This is why the protesters felt the action at one of the biggest polluters in the country was extremely necessary.
Experts such as James Hansen, the high profile scientist who is the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute and Caroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green Party will be giving evidence in court to support the 20 activists who remain on trial.
Transition Heathrow stands in solidarity with these brave protesters who took action to put the people and the planet ahead of profits for dirty coal companies.
Rebecca Quinn, 32, who was one of those arrested in April but later had the charges dropped said:
“Climate change is hitting those least responsible for it the hardest. Low-lying island nations are already seeing salt water encroach on their farm land, and in recent years we have seen an increasing frequency of extreme weather events. Coal is the dirtiest method of electricity generation, and must be stopped. To avoid a climate crisis, we must put people before profit. In the face of government apathy and the failure of the Copenhagen conference, it is ordinary people taking direct action who are desperately trying to avoid a bleak future of flooding, drought, crop failure and water shortages.”