Quaker co-founder of XR in court

Huddersfield Quakers are upholding father-of-two Ian Bray

Ian Bray at the Shell HQ | Photo: courtesy @ShellKnew on Twitter

A Quaker co-founder of Extinction Rebellion (XR) is one of seven people dubbed ‘the Shell Seven’ who appeared in court for action against Shell’s London headquarters this week.

Ian Bray from Huddersfield Meeting pleaded not guilty to the charges of over £25,000 of criminal damage to the building. The hearing at Southwark Crown Court in London is the second jury trial of an XR-related case and comes almost two years to the day since Shell was the focus of nonviolent direct action during XR’s April Rebellion in 2019.

During the protest – which lasted over twenty-four hours – activists poured fake oil, glued themselves to the windows, and blocked the doors. They cracked several windows, climbed onto a roof, dropped banners and painted the exterior with ‘Shell Knew’, ‘Climate Criminals’ and ‘Lies’. The activists also sprayed ‘Stop Ecocide’ and ‘For Polly’ on the wall of the building. Polly Higgins was founder of the Stop Ecocide campaign and passed away six days later.

Huddersfield Quakers said they are upholding father-of-two Ian Bray who, like all the defendants, represented himself. Five other defendants pleaded not guilty: Jane Augsburger, Senan Clifford, David Lambert, Sid Saunders and another XR co-founder Simon Bramwell.

‘I would never break anybody’s windows, but Shell are responsible for murder,’ said Jane Augsburger.

Farhana Yamin, Paris Agreement negotiator and lead author on three of the five IPCC reports, was arrested in this protest for gluing herself to Shell HQ and was subject to investigations but the police decided not to bring charges.

There have been over 3,600 arrests for XR UK actions since April 2019. Nearly 2,000 have resulted in minor charges, with around 1,000 prosecutions still in progress and 900 resulting in convictions.

The ‘Shell Seven’ verdict had not been announced at the time of going to press.

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