In the United Kingdom, Greta Thunberg and four co-defendants were found not guilty of disobeying police instructions during a climate protest. They were prosecuted for violating the Public Order Act, which ordered them to leave the demonstration site.
The police seek to impose “illegal” conditions
District Judge John Law dismissed the charge as “lacking evidence” of any wrongdoing, arguing that police had tried to impose “unlawful” conditions on the protesters. Thunberg, 21, was arrested on October 17 during a climate change protest near the InterContinental Hotel in Mayfair. The judge added that the conditions imposed on the protestors were “so vague as to be illegal” and that “anyone who does not comply with them does not actually commit any crime”.
A peaceful and civilized struggle
The judge also noted that the protest was “peaceful, civilized and non-violent” and criticized the evidence provided by the prosecution regarding where the protesters should be moved. According to him, the only useful shots he received were “taken by an opponent who was falling down.”
The right to freedom of expression is guaranteed
After the hearing, Ms Thunberg's lawyer Raj Chadha told reporters: “The charges against them were rightly dismissed.” According to Sada, the conditions imposed on the protest were “vague, uncertain and illegal” and disproportionately interfered with his clients' right to freedom of expression.
He said the government should “stop prosecuting peaceful protesters” and “will use all available options” if civil action against those responsible is necessary to bring the case to justice.
The future of climate fighting
Greta Thunberg, along with two Free Fossil London protesters and two Greenpeace activists, were tried at Westminster Magistrates' Court after previously denying breaching the Public Order Act 1986.
They were accused of trespassing under Section 14 of the Act by blocking the entrance to the hotel. In this context, Thunberg and other activists continue to fight to end practices that cause climate change and endanger the future of the planet.
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