18 months after 114 people were initially arrested at the Iona School in Sneinton, 20 climate change activists have begun a month-long trial today. They were originally arrested on 13th April 2009.

On Monday 22 November 2010, they have appeared to answer charge at Nottingham Crown Court: that they conspired together to cause aggrevated trespass at the Radcliffe Power Station. The trial is expected to last 4 weeks.

On Monday 22 November 2010, they have appeared to answer charge at Nottingham Crown Court: that they conspired together to cause aggrevated trespass at the Radcliffe Power Station. The trial is expected to last 4 weeks.

Mass Arrest of 114 Climate Activists in Raid in Nottingham

Today has largely been taken up with agreeing a timetable for the progress of the case. Arguement about whether legal representatives are to visit the Ratcliffe site.  The defence would like to, to get a ‘feel for the location’. The prosecution thinks this un-neccesary, since no one was arrested there. E-on didn’t want to co-operate with this visit, health and safety implications etc … The swearing in of the jury has also now been completed.  Opening statement from counsel will begin tomorrow.

>> Statement from their blog:

Supporters gathered outside Nottingham Crown Court holding signs which read, “I would stop emissions too”.

Anyone in the Nottingham area who would like to meet the defendants or help out can come along to the SUMAC centre (NG7 6HX) each evening after the trial at 7pm for dinner at People’s Kitchen.

The arrests were thought to be the biggest ever pre-emptive arrest of environmental activists. The defendants are charged with Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Trespass for planning to safely shut down Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station for a week and in doing so stopping 150,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted. While they admit the intent, they maintain that they are not guilty of of a crime.

The defence will show that the activists acted out of necessity, to prevent death and serious injury. According to official sources, 300,000 people per year already lose their lives due to the effects of climate change and half a billion are at “extreme risk”. (http://www.preventionweb.net/english/professional/publications/v.php?id=9668)

Rebecca Quinn, 32, who was one of those arrested in April but later had the charges dropped, said, “Climate Change is hitting those least responsible for it the hardest. Low-lying island nations are already seeing salt water encroach on their farm land, and in recent years we have seen an increasing frequency of extreme weather events. Coal is the dirtiest method of electricity generation, and must be stopped. To avoid a climate crisis, we must put people before profit. In the face of government apathy and the failure of the Copenhagen conference, it is ordinary people taking direct action who are desperately trying to avoid a bleak future of flooding, drought, crop failure and water shortages.”

James Hansen, the high profile scientist who is the Head of NASA’s Goddard Institute, is one of the many expert witnesses who will testify during the trial at Nottingham Crown Court. The leading climatologist will guide the jury through the complexities of climate science and explain how coal burning is jeopardizing the lives of millions.

Caroline Lucas MP, Leader of the Green Party will give expert evidence about the failure to achieve action on climate change domestically and within the EU parliament through more conventional political means. It will be argued that the defendants had no alternative but to physically stop the power station emitting CO2, having exhausted other channels such as lobbying, campaigning, and attending marches.

The defendants are a diverse mix of people of varying ages from 21 to 45. Living across the UK, they work in teaching, science, computing, and many other areas. 114 people were originally arrested on 13th April 2009, but most subsequently had their charges dropped.

For regular updates on the trial see http://ratcliffeontrial.org/blog


Notes from the previous trial held at Nottingham Magistrates Court from 14 – 16th January 2008
Ratcliffe Power Station : Court Case Reporting
[addionally, this post contains some collected links to past coverage of the issues surrounding the Ratcliffe Power Station and concern about its operations]


the trial continues etc………