Peter Hain: n the face of resistance by juries, surely there is a strong case to halt all the pending trials of Extinction Rebellion activists? With nearly a thousand trials still waiting to be heard in the courts, six members of the group were recently acquitted at Southwark crown court in XR’s second trial by a jury. They had been charged with criminal damage against the oil giant Shell, yet the jury decided that all six were not guilty, despite the judge ruling that only one had any kind of defence in law. For the police, prosecutors and judge, this was doubtless a “perverse” verdict. But the warning signs had been there. In XR’s first crown court trial in December 2019, in which the defendants also admitted their actions and pleaded not guilty, the jury stated they had only followed the judge’s direction to convict “with regret”. It’s time for Priti Patel, the director of public prosecutions and the police to halt these XR prosecutions on the grounds that the law readily provides – that they are “not in the public interest”. This would save a pile of money and leave the courts free to prioritise real criminals, not those seeking to save our planet.
Guardian 8th May 2021 read more »
CONCERN about the climate crisis has prompted Scottish composer and filmmaker Adam Stafford to make a personal response. Believing there are not enough protest songs about the “catastrophic” state of the planet, he has written an entire album about it called Trophic Asynchrony, the name for the increasingly common unseasonable events occurring in the natural world. Written and recorded during lockdown, the predominantly instrumental album takes its title from the cascade of non-seasonal events due to climate change – of swallows returning in winter, blizzards in summertime and daffodils at Christmas.
The National 9th May 2021 read more »