Extinction Rebellion cases dropped

Three protestors who took action as part of Extinction Rebellion have had their court cases dropped

One of the ER protesters being arrested last November. | Photo: CCA

Three protestors summonsed to stand trial for their action in support of the Extinction Rebellion (ER) movement have had their court cases dropped.

According to the group Christian Climate Action (CCA), of which the three protestors were members, the reason cited was that ‘a prosecution is not needed in the public interest’.

Since ER was launched to promote radical nonviolent action for climate justice, eight CCA members have been arrested, with some members being arrested up to five times. Two Quakers, Ian Bray and Chayley Collis, of Brighouse West Yorkshire Area Meeting, have also been arrested and were added to the Court and Prison Register at Meeting for Sufferings last month.

Ian Bray has been arrested thirteen times, including one charge of criminal damage and two pending investigations. He is due at Westminster Magistrates Court on 12 March. Ian Bray told the Friend: ‘There doesn’t seem to be a pattern. Some are asked for interviews, some have pending investigations and some cases have been dropped. It’s been really hard to get arrested overall, because they know that people are prepared to go to jail.’

Ian Bray added that CCA are very committed to the Extinction Rebellion movement. ‘It is the spiritual impetus that allows them to keep going. Everyone talks about burn-out, because they are doing it on physical stamina… but [others] can spring back because they are spiritually led. It definitely seems to help with resilience. It has helped me knowing the support I have from Meetings and Meeting for Sufferings. It has helped me come at it in a more measured and calm manner.’

According to CCA, the three protestors with dropped cases were ‘planning on pleading not guilty in court, claiming that their actions were necessary as part of a desperate attempt to urge those in power to take the needed action’.

One of them said: ‘Part of me is relieved that the court case has been dropped. Standing court is an anxiety-provoking experience for anyone and I can’t help feeling relieved that I can have a bit more time, energy and head space. However, another part of me is very frustrated. We are living in a time of climate emergency that our politicians are refusing to acknowledge. Standing before a court of law would force authorities to consider the desperate position we have been forced into.’

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