Saturday, January 16, 2016

Judge, Jurors Praise Defendants For Climate Resistance

Five environmental activists who failed to convince a court that their attempt to block crude oil trains near Seattle was a legally justifiable act of civil disobedience on Friday were nonetheless praised by a judge as “part of the solution” to climate change. On Friday, the campaigners were convicted in a court in suburban Seattle of misdemeanor trespassing relating to a September 2014 protest in which they blocked railway tracks used by crude oil trains in Everett, Washington. The defendants intended to argue that their acts, though illegal, were necessary to prevent the greater harm of catastrophic climate change. After two days of testimony the judge refused to allow the jury to consider the necessity defense. The case marks the furthest defendants have managed to go in an American courtroom using the so-called “necessity” defense.


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