Extinction Rebellion activists cleared by jury after one glued himself to train

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‘The real criminals here aren’t three committed Christians’

The activists targeted a train which was one stop away from Bank in an attempt to appeal to the public and the Government about the dangers of climate change and the financial institutions whose actions damage the planet.

Some 15 trains were delayed or cancelled but none were stuck in tunnels.

They all pleaded not guilty and their defence was that they were exercising their rights to protest under the Human Rights Act and that the protest was lawful.

On Friday, a jury at the Inner London Crown Court cleared the activists of obstructing the railway during the 2019 stunt.

Zoë Blackler from XR said: “When a jury hears the truth about the escalating climate crisis, with the depth and seriousness they won’t get from the government or the media, they understand the urgent need to act.  

“The real criminals here aren’t three committed Christians risking their liberty to sound the alarm on a threat of existential proportions. But a government failing to do what’s necessary to safeguard the future of the human race.”

Verdict adds to ‘mounting evidence’ that climate change is being taken seriously

Mike Schwarz, solicitor at Hodge Jones and Allen, said the decision shows that “the public is taking the climate crisis and the increasingly urgent need to focus on it far more seriously than government and business”.

Mr Schwarz, who represented the defendants, said it added to “mounting evidence” that courts and particularly juries were supporting the change in public opinion also.

The verdict comes after four people were cleared of criminal damage over toppling the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol and throwing it in the harbour.

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