Extinction Rebellion vows to return to the streets as convictions overturned

0
17

Extinction Rebellion has vowed to return to the streets following more successful calls to overturn convictions of its activists.

The environmental campaign group recently scored a streak of victories after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) abandoned the business.

The group says 2,500 people have been prosecuted since April 2019 and that “potentially hundreds if not thousands of resulting convictions could be dangerous.”

Four other Extinction Rebellion activists had their sentences overturned at Old Bailey on Wednesday.

Andrew James, 70, Lou Ferns, 30, and Neil Traynor, 38, had previously been convicted of willful obstruction of motorways in central London.

Charles Hey, 33, was convicted of unlawful public assembly in Parliament Square, opposite Parliament.

But Bill McGivern, for the prosecution, said the Crown would not resist appeals by the accused.

The Ziegler decision, the recent Judge Dennis ruling and now the PSC’s decision not to challenge these latest appeals only confirm what we have always said – that we are exercising our legal and democratic right to protest peacefully.

Spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion

The Supreme Court overturned the convictions of four protesters at a gun fair in June after finding they had a “lawful excuse” for the offense.

The case is known as the Ziegler judgment.

A spokeswoman for Extinction Rebellion said: “The Ziegler decision, the recent decision by Judge Dennis and now the CPS decision not to challenge these latest appeals only confirm what we have always said, which is that we exercise our legal and democratic right to protest peacefully. .

“2,500 people have been prosecuted since April 2019. Hundreds if not thousands of resulting convictions could be dangerous.

“It is the responsibility of the Crown to reassess all past and ongoing prosecutions in light of the Ziegler judgment and to correct any miscarriage of justice. “

Extinction Rebellion protesters wear rat masks in Whitehall, London, June 27 (PA)

The spokeswoman said lawyers for Extinction Rebellion wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions asking him to confirm that this process was underway.

They also seek clarification that the PSC will apply the Ziegler decision in all future decisions to prosecute.

She added: “On August 23, Extinction Rebellion will be back on the streets to demand this change.”

The group posted online about the two-week protest, similar to its previous protests in central London in September 2019.

It is understood that Extinction Rebellion will consult with police ahead of protests.

At Wednesday’s hearing, the convictions of the four defendants were overturned.

James, of Southwood Road, Liverpool, was initially convicted on February 16, 2021 of willfully obstructing free passage along the motorway at Millbank.

He was released on parole for six months and was asked to pay £ 620 in costs and a £ 22 surcharge.

Ferns, from Scotland, was initially convicted on February 1, 2021 of willful obstruction of free passage along the motorway in Whitehall.

They were released on parole for nine months and were asked to pay £ 310 in costs and a £ 21 surcharge.

Hey, from Thaxted, Essex was originally convicted on February 23, 2020 of unlawful public gathering in Parliament Square.

He was released on parole for nine months and asked to pay £ 75 in costs and a £ 22 surcharge.

Traynor, of Mosspark Road, Stretford, Manchester, was originally convicted on 29 April 2020 of willfully obstructing free passage along the motorway at Millbank.

He was released on parole for nine months and was asked to pay £ 500 in costs and a £ 21 surcharge.

The CPS said it would challenge another pending appeal, but that a request would be made to have the case transferred to another court.

Judge Mark Dennis QC said further appeals risked taking “precious court time” and expressed “considerable concern” over those in remand awaiting trial in the Central Criminal Court.

This website is powered by the generosity of readers like you.
Please donate what you can afford to help us keep our communities informed.

BECOME A SUPPORT

In these difficult times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.


Source link