Good news for Greenpeace “environmental protestors”, who were cleared of causing criminal damage in order to shut down a coal fired power station:
The defendents claimed that they had “lawful excuse” because they were acting to protect property around the world “in immediate need of protection” from the impacts of climate change.
Eon, the owners of the plant, are planning to replace the existing unit with two new coal-fired plants which, if built, would be the first new coal build power plants built for over 20 years. Eon say that the units would produce enough electricity to supply around 1.5million homes.
Summing up, Judge David Caddick said that the case centred on whether or not the protesters had a lawful excuse for their actions. He told the jury that for a lawful excuse to be used it must be proved that the action was due to an immediate need to protect property belonging to another.
Environmental campaigners have fought against the development of new coal-fired power stations as part of the fight against climate change.
Ben Stewart, one of the defendents, said: “This verdict marks a tipping point for the climate change movement.
“If jurors from the heart of Middle England say it’s legitimate for a direct action group to shut down a coal-fired power station because of the harm it does to our planet, then where does that leave government energy policy?”
But why stop there?
Here are the defendants. Do any of them possess cars? Surely they should be pouring iron filings into each other’s petrol tanks? All in the interests of saving the environment, of course.
Isn’t this the problem. If a defence of ‘preventing criminal damage’ is to succeed in cases involving what are really “direct action” political protests, why shouldn’t Eon – or a ‘sceptic’ group like the Revolutionary Communist Party – smash up the offices of Greenpeace, to prevent them from planning further acts of criminal damage against fields containing GM crops, power stations, and the like?
Political campaigning should involve encouraging individuals to make changes to the way they live their own lives, and to alter the way they vote. If ‘direct action’ involves the destruction of somebody else’s property – to score a PR coup – then a protestor really ought to accept his or her punishment.
What Greenpeace has achieved today is the legalisation of vigilantism.
An ice penis, created by global warming.