Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists, who stopped a train during a climate change protest in 2019, were legally exercising their right to peaceful protests, the jury found.
Honorable Sue Parfitt, 79, father of Martin Newell, 54, and Philip Kingston, 85, were all found not guilty of obstructing trains or railroad cars under the Malicious Compensation Act.
An Anglican priest and two other Christian environmentalists caused a 77-minute disturbance after two of them climbed to the roof of the Docklands Light Railway and the other clung to the wagon.
The trio caused the disruption during rush hour at Shadwell Station in East London on October 17, 2019, and train passengers told her it was “it’s an electric train, let’s go”.
All three, all members of Christian Climate Action, a branch of XR, told the jury that their faith had forced them to take action to protect God’s creation and prevent fleeing climate change.
Kingston said the future of his four grandchildren also encouraged him to take part in the protest.
As they said, they were trying to engage the public and the government about the dangers of climate change and financial institutions whose actions are harming the planet, targeting a train one stop away from the Bank, in the financial district of London City. .
About 15 trains were delayed or canceled, but none got stuck in the tunnels.
They all pleaded guilty, and their defense was that they were exercising their right to protest under the Human Rights Act and that the protest was lawful.
On Friday, a jury at Inner London Crown Court admitted to activists that they obstructed the railroad during the 2019 acrobatics.
The verdict came after six Extinction Rebellion protesters were acquitted in April last year of causing damage to Shell’s London headquarters, despite a judge instructing jurors that they had no defense under the law.