Climate activists' convictions quashed

The convictions of 20 climate activists were quashed by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday. The 20 had been convicted of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, in December last year. However, revelations about the withholding of evidence gathered by undercover police officer Mark Kennedy led to the Director of Public Prosecutions requesting an independent review into the safety of the prosecutions. Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, said the convictions had been a miscarriage of justice.

On the IMC newswire: Climate activists’ convictions quashed | HM Court of Appeal: Lord Chief Justice Appeal Judgement on Ratcliffe20 | NottinghamshirePolice extremely disappointed shame | Ratcliffe power station protesters cleared on appe | Ratcliffe Crown Court Trial 'Collected Report' PDF

Previous features: Guilty verdict in Ratcliffe trial | Ratcliffe Trial: Week 2 | Ratcliffe Trial: Prosecution Opens | Ratcliffe Conspiracy Trial Begins | Mass Arrest of 114 Climate Activists in Raid

Activists’ statement

We are 20 of the 114 people who were preemptively arrested near E.ON’s Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal power station over two years ago. During our trial last year we argued that our plan to safely shut down the power station was necessary in order to protect the ever escalating numbers of people dying as a result of climate change. We later found out our trial was rigged by the police and CPS to get convictions.

Through placing undercover officers in our movement, using mass preemptive arrest and rigging our trial, the state has deliberately attempted to silence dissenting voices. This quelling of dissent, now repeated in the young people facing prison for protesting against the attacks on public services, is fundamentally undemocratic. It is yet another example of those in power protecting their own interests. Whether it’s E.ON Energy or News International, the government and police have a track record of colluding with big business. We need to look at the root causes of climate change, and ask why the profits of corporations such as E.ON are being prioritised over future generations, and the millions already on the front line of our changing climate. Taking action on climate change is not an act of moral righteousness, its about protecting our future. History is full of examples of ordinary people acting to defend their rights and those of others, and we need a strong movement of people doing just that. Winning this appeal is just one small victory in the fight against the systemically political nature of policing. We stand in solidarity with all those have suffered injustice from the state or face repression for daring to take political action.

Links:

Ratcliffe on Trial

The full judgment

DPP announcement of independent inquiry

Nottinghamshire Police statement