Jury Acquits Fire Engine Six
The arc was long, but bent towards justice, when the charge against the final defendant was dropped. The fate of the other 5 was not guilty, on October 12th, but a press embargo was in place until today.
This action broke through many media outlets, and was often featured as one of the most striking examples of Extinction Rebellion’s massive impact on the protest scene in 2019. Other actions included occupying Waterloo Bridge and Oxford Circus for 10 days, which amounted in 1000+ arrests. Since then, Extinction Rebellion expanded into 80 countries, with 1000s of chapters.
Following those actions in 2019, the UK was the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency. About 80 countries followed suit, along with thousands of jurisdictions. Sadly, this pattern has not yet translated into real climate action on the part of the biggest polluters.
Following their acquittal, the defendants read out a joint statement before declaring the court a crime scene and unfurling crime scene tape:
The Statement read, “Let this verdict mark a turning point in British history. A time to stop prosecuting the protesters and to start prosecuting the true criminals in government. Until these courts are filled with the oil executives trashing our children’s future; with the government officials subsidising and funding them; with the marketing firms distorting the facts and hiding the truth; with the lawyers from the London law firms enabling £1.48 trillion in fossil fuel funding in just the last 4 years; with the newspaper editors applauding the collapse of our ecosystems whilst inciting violence against the activists who defend life – until these courts are filled with them, we declare the legal system a crime scene. Silence is complicity. Failure to prosecute is complicity. The next generation will not forgive or forget until justice is done and neither shall we.”
For more information, please visit the press release
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“What are our responsibilities at this time? Because of the fossil fuel industry, we are facing horrors of a magnitude never before experienced in our existence. Our government continues to lead us to the edge of no return. We must stand up and defend ourselves. No one else is going to do it. It must be us, if we want to live.
Our methods must be disruptive, and they must be nonviolent. Our actions are evidence-based, credible, and we have a plan. The only thing missing at this point in time is YOU!”
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