Just Stop Oil activists found guilty over M25 disruption plans

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UN Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders under the Aarhus Convention Michel Forst attended the trial of five Just Stop Oil supporters at Southwark Crown Court. He attended as an observer because of his serious concerns.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/just-stop-oil-activists-found-guilty-over-m25-disruption-plans Many articles from the Morning Star today

JUST STOP OIL (JSO) supporters convicted of causing public nuisance by planning to disrupt the M25 to demand an end to new oil and gas licencing have been found guilty.

JSO co-founder Roger Hallam, Daniel Shaw, Lucia Whittaker De Abreu, Louise Lancaster and Cressida Gethin have been remanded until their sentencing hearing next Thursday and face lengthy prison sentences, despite the United Nations’ condemnation of the trial.

The jury entered guilty verdicts against all defendants yesterday, ruling that the climate crisis was “irrelevant” to the trial.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/just-stop-oil-activists-found-guilty-over-m25-disruption-plans Many articles from the Morning Star today

Continue ReadingJust Stop Oil activists found guilty over M25 disruption plans

Jury out in historic Just Stop Oil conspiracy case

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UN Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders under the Aarhus Convention Michel Forst attended the trial of five Just Stop Oil supporters at Southwark Crown Court. He attended as an observer because of his serious concerns.

The jury is now deliberating the verdict in a case involving Just Stop Oil supporters Daniel Shaw, Cressie Gethin, Lucia De-Abreu-Whittaker, Louise Lancaster, and Roger Hallam. The five are currently on trial at Southwark Crown Court. They are charged with conspiracy to cause a public nuisance in connection with the M25 gantry actions in November 2022.

They were first arrested in 2022 either pre-emptively in police raids at their homes after attending a Zoom call (in which a Sun journalist was present), or travelling near the M25. The Sun alleged it had ‘infiltrated’ the meeting, tipping off the police and enabling National Highways to secure a public injunction. Some of the five defendants were imprisoned for up to 113 days without trial. They were released subject to stringent conditions including a 10pm to 7am house curfew, stipulations not to be within a one-mile radius of the M25, no contact with other defendants, and not to participate in any climate change demonstration. 

The trial began on 24th June, presided over by Crown Court Judge Hehir. 

At the start of the trial, the office of the UN Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders released a statement expressing its views on the criminal prosecution of Daniel Shaw. Due to his “grave concerns” about the criminalisation of UK environmental defenders, Special Rapporteur Michel Forst attended the trial in person on 4th and 5th July. [1]

During the trial so far, Judge Hehir has ordered nine separate arrests from the courtroom: three times each for Roger Hallam and Daniel Shaw, twice for Louise Lancaster, and once for Cressie Gethin. Additionally, the defendants have collectively spent seven nights in remand since the trial began, with Daniel, Roger, and Louise each spending two nights, and Cressie spending one night. 

On the 4th of July, the prosecution made a historic concession by admitting to the following, in the list of agreed facts to be presented for the jury’s consideration:

“1. On 17 December 2020, Her Majesty’s Treasury published the New Zero Interim Report which states, ‘Climate change is an existential threat to humanity. Without global action to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the climate will change catastrophically with almost unimaginable consequences for societies across the world.’ In recognition of the risks, the UK became, in 2019, the first major economy to implement a legally binding net zero target.

2. Scientific consensus is that beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius warming above pre-industrial levels risks catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity, which will be irreversible.

3. Over the past five years, the global average temperature rise since pre-industrial times has averaged just under 1.3 degrees Celsius. For the 12 months to June 2024, it averaged 1.63 degrees Celsius and is estimated to top 1.5 degrees Celsius permanently before 2030.

4. In October 2022, the UK Government opened the 33rd licensing round to allow oil and gas companies to explore for more fossil fuels in the North Sea.”


Despite the presence of these agreed facts and the explicit provision for the defence of ‘reasonable excuse’ under section 78 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, Judge Hehir ruled that the defendants would not be allowed any defence under law, repeating at various points in the trial as well as in his written directions to the jury that any facts pertaining to “man-made climate change” were “entirely irrelevant” to the defendants’ charges. 

Continue ReadingJury out in historic Just Stop Oil conspiracy case

We’ll see

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Hoping to bring you a live audio podcast this evening at 7pm BST (GMT +1). I’m hoping that it will happen this evening, but tomorrow otherwise. We’ll see. It will be a monologue with me, certainly not too serious, some music and some special ‘guests’.

The intention of today’s podcast is to make sure it’s all working for the ‘Talking About a Revolution’ podcast featuring renowned climate activist Roger Hallam a week from today at 7pm BST (GMT +1).

18.57 BST Apologies, looks like tomorrow.

16.02pm BST 25/4/24 I’m not having time to do this, hopefully over the weekend.

Continue ReadingWe’ll see