Counting on … day 1.109

3rd May 2023

Misinformation and disinformation about the climate crisis are compounded, I believe, when activists are not allowed in court cases to talk about the crisis to explain why they felt compelled to take disruptive action. People do not generally choose to sit in the middle of a busy road just for fun. Surely for justice to properly served, the courts need to understand why people took such action, and if it transpires that there was an overriding reason for the action, to alert the authorities accordingly. 

Greta Thunberg famously countered that if your house is on fire, you would be justified in breaking the windows. 

We are now in the situation where activists are facing increasingly long prison sentences because they  are trying to draw attention to the overwhelming severity of the climate crisis and the pitifully inadequate response of the government.

On 21st April 2023, Morgan Trowland and Marcus were sent to prison for periods of 3 years and 2 years, 7 months respectively for climbing on a road bridge and hanging up a banner to demand an end to the British Government’s licensing of new oil and gas projects. These new projects are known to be inconsistent with international climate obligations, and unless opposed, will accelerate mass loss of life and displacement of people, in Britain and around the world. 

Action network has a petition calling on the UN   Special Rapporteur on human rights and climate change  to intervene to dissuade the uk government from treating climate activists in this repressive manner. 

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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