The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
'The Law Is on Our Side': Extinction Rebellion Celebrates Dropped Charges Against 105 Climate Activists
By Jessica Corbett
Extinction Rebellion and its supporters celebrated Wednesday after the agency that conducts criminal prosecutions in England dropped charges against 105 activists who were arrested in London last month for participating in the environmental movement's "Autumn Uprising" actions.
The Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) decision to end the cases against Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists came after a high court in the UK ruled early this month that a protest ban imposed by London's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) under section 14 of the Public Order Act was unlawful.
"It is to be hoped that the police will, in future, take much greater care to act within the law and to balance the right to protest with their desire for public order," Martin Marston-Paterson, one of the XR activists arrested under the section 14 order in October, said in a statement.
"Extinction Rebellion is glad to see that the Met Police and the CPS have recognized the implications of our successful challenge earlier this month," said Tobias Garnett, a human rights lawyer in the movement's legal strategy team. "It underlines the need for proper policing that doesn't waste precious public resources."
These admissions of unlawful arrest, said Garnett, "affirm that when the people of this country assemble peacefully to demand action on the climate and ecological emergency the law is on our side."
Criminal charges have been dropped against Extinction Rebellion activists arrested during a London-wide protest ban.— Extinction Rebellion UK 🗳️🌍 (@XRebellionUK) November 27, 2019
The CPS said 105 cases were being discontinued against #ExtinctionRebellion supporters who were detained during the action in October. 🙌 https://t.co/IhN8sLdNgG
A police spokesperson told The Evening Standard that "the MPS remains disappointed by the judgment, but of course respects the decision of the court" and will not appeal the ruling. Reiterating past calls for legislative updates, the spokesperson added that "the MPS will continue to carefully consider and review the use of this legislation during future demonstrations."
Ultimately, Extinction Rebellion expects more than 1,000 cases against XR protesters arrested in October will be dropped. According to The Guardian, the CPS confirmed that the cases discontinued so far include 73 defendants charged with breach of section 14; 24 charged with breach of section 14 and highway obstruction; and eight charged only with highway obstruction.
Welcoming the news Wednesday, Jules Carey of the London law firm Bindmans LLP said that "it is now clear that the policing of the Extinction Rebellion protests was a mess: the right to protest was overlooked, police powers were overstepped, and a significant clean-up operation is now required in the criminal justice system to deal with hundreds of cases that should never have been brought."
XR activists in the UK are now gearing up for holiday season protests to highlight the movement's three key demands:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens' Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
On Saturday, Extinction Rebellion activists will launch nonviolent direct actions for "12 Days of Crisis," which will coincide with the UN's COP 25 climate summit in Madrid and run up to the eve of the UK general election on Dec. 12.
This Sunday rebels will Sound the Alarm in towns and cities across the UK kicking off our 12 Days of Crisis. If you’re free and willing to risk arrest, the team needs a London based driver and a small team to help, email👉firstname.lastname@example.org://t.co/vnKWkOxUGw— Extinction Rebellion UK 🗳️🌍 (@XRebellionUK) November 27, 2019
"Rebels from Wales to Cumbria are set to ramp up the pressure on our politicians; from singing Crisis Carols and setting off Air Raid Sirens to occupations of high level political targets," XR said in a statement Tuesday. "The 12 Days of Crisis will kick off with a nationwide Sounding of the Alarm, and proceed with a series of powerful actions outside Political Party HQs and on the campaign trail."
Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zak Smith
It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:
By Hector Chapa
With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.
But can these masks be effective?
By Carey Gillam
Bayer AG is reneging on negotiated settlements with several U.S. law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who claim exposure to Monsanto's Roundup herbicides caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sources involved in the litigation said on Friday.
With many schools now closed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, you may be looking for activities to keep your children active, engaged, and entertained.
Although numerous activities can keep kids busy, cooking is one of the best choices, as it's both fun and educational.
Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.