By Oisin Sweeney • 08 January 2021 • 10:54
Over 3400 activists were arrested for civil disobedience offenses - Image Source: Extinction Rebellion
OVER 1000 climate activists who participated in widescale Extinction Rebellion events are to appear in courts in the biggest protest crackdown in UK history.
Over 1000 activists who participated in three massive Extinction Rebellion protests are to appear in court, with lawyers saying that many will have to travel to London from across the UK to face trial despite the pandemic.
Extinction Rebellion actions brought London to a standstill over several days, while fossil fuel companies and newspaper printing companies were also targetted by climate activists.
The movement says that 3400 of its participants have been arrested since protests began, with 1700 charged. Around 900 have pled guilty to civil disobedience offenses, while 800 are currently on trial or preparing for legal proceedings. Lawyers for activists warn that making defendants travel to the capital to face trial poses a danger to public health as Britain battles the third wave of its coronavirus pandemic.
Raj Chada, a solicitor from Hodge Jones and Allen, which represents many of the activists, said: “These clients come from across the country, and the court system is just getting to grips with remote attendances.” She criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for pursuing legal actions in the midst of the pandemic at great cost to taxpayers.
While some defendants have been engaged in environmental activist action for many years, the vast majority have never faced the UK legal system before.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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