Trials & legal cases

1 December 2023News

Over the last two months, Palestine Action (PA) has continued its direct action campaign against Elbit Systems UK, the British subsidiary of the Israeli drone manufacturer. PA has also opened up a US branch (which has taken action in Massachussetts and New Hampshire), supported several activists on trial (still ongoing at the time of going to press) and taken action in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

On 5 October, PA added to its acquittals score when one of its activists was…

1 December 2023News in Brief

On 8 November, Choi Jungmin (pronounced ‘chwéh chong-min’) and seven others from South Korean peace group World Without War (see PN 2667) were found ‘not guilty’ of disrupting an arms fair.

On 22 September 2022, Jungmin and her colleagues, Ji Hyeseong, Joo Youngho, Kim Eunmi, Kim Han Minyeong, Lee Yongsuk, Park Jaeyoon and Yeo Jeewoo entered DX KOREA 2022, just outside Seoul, South Korea.…

1 December 2023News

A rapid survey of the last two months of UK climate activism

Here are some of the climate actions that have taken place in the UK since our last issue. The major event was the acquittal, on 16 November, of the HSBC Nine: XR women prosecuted for £500,000 damage done to windows at the headquarters of HSBC bank in London in 2021.

The other major event has been the continuing Just Stop Oil (JSO) slow walk campaign in London, mostly marching from Trafalgar Square to Whitehall.

JSO claim there have been 612 arrests between 30 October and 22…

1 October 2023News in Brief

Thank you (in Korean) to everyone who contributed to the fundraiser for the eight South Korean peace activists from World Without War who were told they will be fined $15,000 for protesting inside the DX arms fair near Seoul in September 2022. (PN 2667)

We have heard from Jungmin that the DX Eight did raise the $15,000. PN transferred over £1,000 from the UK (finance worker Gabriel…

1 October 2023News

Campaigners risk arrest with 'right to acquit' signs 

On 25 September, over 200 campaigners took arrestable action by holding up signs aimed at jurors outside criminal courts in Bristol, London, Manchester and elsewhere in the UK, as part of the growing public campaign, ‘Defend Our Juries’.

They were showing solidarity with Insulate Britain activist Trudi Warner, 68, who is being prosecuted for holding up a placard outside Inner London crown court on 27 March. It said: ‘Jurors you have an absolute right to acquit a defendant according to…

1 October 2023News

Direct action dips in face of legal action

Nonviolent direct action by climate activists has almost ground to a halt recently, in the face of large numbers of such activists being put on trial and being given heavy sentences.

Insulate Britain ended its campaign of road obstructions in 2022.

Just Stop Oil’s only actions since June have involved slow marches in Exeter and Leeds, holding up traffic in its campaign to get the UK to stop giving licences for new oil and gas fields.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) suspended…

1 October 2023News

Freedom of Information requests reveal Israeli embassy has been lobbying the UK attorney general’s office over prosecutions in the UK

The direct action group Palestine Action (PA) has won its first acquittals. On 30 August, a judge at Walsall magistrates court found Iola Davies, 73, and Jasmine Murphy, 23, not guilty of highway obstruction despite the fact that they had locked-on to vehicles blocking entrances to the UAV Engines factory in Shenstone.

PA has a long-running campaign of disruption against British weapons factories owned by the Israeli arms company, Elbit Systems. UAV Engines, which is owned by Elbit…

1 October 2023News in Brief

Climate activists have been in prison for the first time in New Zealand/Aotearoa. Restore Passenger Rail (RPR) are demanding a renewed passenger-focused rail network and free urban public transport.

Rosemary Penwarden, 64, was denied bail after fixing her hand to State Highway 1 on 29 August. She was held on remand until 12 September. Alex Cockle, 49, was arrested later and will be held in prison until 28 September. Jen Olsen, 63, was arrested on 3 September for trying to blockade…

20 September 2023Blog

Ukrainian pacifist still under investigation for serious charges

The prosecution did not show up for the hearing today (Wednesday 20 September) in Kyiv to pursue the filing of charges against [Ukrainian pacifist] Yurii Sheliazhenko, who is being charged by the Ukrainian government with the crime of justifying Russian aggression. The evidence is this statement which explicitly condemns Russian aggression.

Here is a…

1 August 2023News

Legal challenges, trials and 2,350 arrests

Three successes for climate activists occurred in June. On 16 June, the group Feedback was granted the right to a judicial review.

They had challenged the UK national food strategy for not have a plan to cut meat and dairy consumption, arguing that the strategy failed to take into account ministers’ duties to cut carbon emissions as set out in the Climate Change Act 2008.

The high court had refused Feedback a judicial review; the court of appeal has now decided they can…

1 August 2023News

Activists aquitted as "illegal migration" bill becomes law

Three activists who lay on the road outside Brook House immigration centre in November 2021, preventing people being put on a deportation flight, were found not guilty of causing a public nuisance by a jury at Lewes crown court on 13 June.

Griff Ferris, Callum Lynch and Rivka Micklethwaite had argued that they were concerned about the possible fates of the detainees if forced to fly back to Jamaica.

On 18 July, both anti-racist and anti-migrant protests met the Bibby…

1 June 2023News

Just Stop Oil continue daily 'slow marches' as pair jailed for multiple years

The longest sentences yet imposed on climate activists were handed down on 21 April, at Southend crown court, when a jury found two Just Stop Oil activists guilty of causing a public nuisance. Judge Shane Collery KC sentenced Morgan Trowland, 40, to three years in prison and Marcus Decker, 36, to two years seven months, to ‘deter’ copycat actions.

The two were arrested last October after they had climbed 200 feet up onto the QEII Bridge over the Dartford Crossing in East London,…

2 April 2023News

Jury accepts that campaigners had 'lawful excuse'  for graffiti

On 25 January, after a 10-day trial at the central criminal court in Dublin, Edward Horgan and Dan Dowling were found not guilty of criminal damage for a nonviolent action at Shannon Airport almost six years previously.

On 25 April 2017, the two peace activists were arrested at Shannon Airport, on the west coast of Ireland, and charged with causing criminal damage by writing graffiti on a US navy aircraft.

They were also charged with trespassing at Shannon Airport. The words ‘…

2 April 2023News in Brief

Dennis DuVall, 81, a member of Veterans for Peace (USA), entered federal prison in Bautzen, Germany, on 23 March to begin a 60-day sentence. He had refused to pay a fine for trespass or criminal damage.

Dennis was one of 18 people who entered Büchel airbase on 15 July 2018 to protest against the presence of US 170-kiloton B61-3 and 50-kiloton B61-4 free-fall hydrogen bombs.

The bomb dropped on Hiroshima had an explosive power of 15 kilotons.

The first US citizen to be…

2 April 2023News

From Just Stop Oil to Palestine Action ...

While Extinction Rebellion is temporarily quitting disruptive action to concentrate on mobilising mass demonstrations, Just Stop Oil (JSO) and Insulate Britain (IB) have said they will continue their disruptive action campaigns.

However, they also seem to have largely suspended their actions while engaged in fighting the many court cases arising from previous actions. However JSO has still been organising ‘slow marches’ to hold up traffic in many towns and cities.