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Landmark Win in 'Fight for Habitable Future' as Jury Refuses to Convict Climate Activists Who Presented Necessity Defense

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/28/landmark-win-fight-habitable-future-jury-refuses-convict-climate-activists-who


Each of us in one way or another, commensurate with the degree to which we inform ourselves, will find ways to dedicate our lives to turning this global juggernaut from its death dealing rationalizations for “economy”(remember oikos - ‘care of the home’, not investors!); redefining the values of “nationhood” from being a mafia operation; ecology becoming the delight of creative innovation, balance, sustainability and inclusion of the vast breadth of different ways of living to contribute to a 21st century habitation of planet Earth not driven solely by distorted historical arguments, but attracted by a future and discovery of elements we cannot even yet imagine.

And lest I forget … profound gratitude to these eloquent lovers and livers of elegant truth and courage


This is great news, now lets make “Jury Nullification” popular again, to combat all unjust laws.


"We need to take note of the lessons learned by the labor movement—mass civil disobedience works. The climate crisis is a workers issue, we need to unite to shut down business as usual. Right now."

See you all out on April 22-24 #Strikewithus

The “times are a’changin” indeed!



Jury nullification goes back to an English colonial landmark case, Penn versus the Crown. William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, was standing in the town square with Quaker friends, meditating. The state charged him with “Tumultuous and Riotous Assembly.” The jury came back and said that Penn was guilty of assembly. The judge said that’s not good enough, the legal charge is “tumultuous and riotous”. The jury said that part wasn’t proven, so Penn was innocent. At this point the judge locked up the jury without beer. Ah, the good old days!

If you are charged with “criminal” anything in the title of the law and if the law requires proof of “criminal” intent, the prosecutor will regularly want to prove intent without the “criminal” part. If you intend to go to the store and if you then go to the store, then intent is proven for going to the store, but are you automatically showing “criminal” intent by going to a store? (If your store is really strange or if you really have it in for capitalism, well maybe.)

These people were showing civic intent. That’s not criminal intent. I wonder why you can’t go up to the judge after the prosecution rests and ask for a mistrial because the “criminal” part of the intent was never even mentioned.


Nice post thank you

I still have a special place in the heart for that quaint notion won on the fields of Runnymede

Habeas Corpus


Good news. A shame they did not get the full acquittal though.

Nice plug for XR and its demand - Tell the Truth.


Righteous dude!
Steeped in clarity and compassion - sweet.

Thank you Portland jury, thank you activists. It’s makes me proud to be both a human and a Portlandee! Now let’s hope the DA can accept the will of the people. Elections are coming.


Hi Jessejean:
Oh and the state motto is"She flies by her own wings," I think, but I just moved here so I could have that wrong–but it’s close enough for me. Thank you , you wonderful Earth Savers!

Congratultions to the good folks with the valve turners in Oregon. I’m glad they achieved their victory. I loved the action where they lived streamed to the adversary what they were doing This was important to me because they showed that even though their activity lost the company significant money, there was no reason to fear them. I am pleasantly surprised the case was not dismissed like the valve turners case in Minnesota.

  People who know my advocacy of pleading guilty as Gandhi always did might be surprised to learn  I do support activity that differs from what I primarily advocate.  I even have good friends who are so called "deniers". Of course I can appreciate activity by people much closer to me politically.                                                                  
  Because I hold that the fossil fuel industry and their financial backers are more powerful than the federal government, or maybe more powerful than all national governments put together, climate crisis activists cannot necessarily expect to achieve what is needed by winning the presidency or head of state office in this or all countries.                                                                                                            
To me, the action with the most power is to FILL THE JAILS as Gandhi did with 100,000 people with the Great Salt March of 90 years ago.  I'm not saying any given person should be ready to serve time. I am saying we are less powerful because this option is not considered ANYWHERE and there is no public discussion within the climate crisis movement of what makes nonviolence powerful.  I have tried to engage valve turners in dialog with zero success.  My application to join the Appalachian Pipeline Action Camp in West Virginia was not rejected. It was ignored.  We will need so many people in jail that a certain significant percentage of those standing in the way of needed climate adjustments  or their top lieutenants actually know people serving time or close friends or relatives of people serving time.                                                  
      Gandhi held that the power of nonviolence was about touching hearts through personal sacrifice. Do you think MLK would have gotten more traction if his great essay, "Letter From A Birmingham Jail" had instead been called," Sure Am Glad I beat that Rap!" All I ask is for dialog as the Holy Father Pope Francis calls for repeatedly in his climate crisis encyclical "Laudato Si".  Please engage me at my personal facebook page or my Gandhian Resistance facebook page.
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You mean Edward Albee.

I fear all they have accomplished is to ensure that the next time this happens, no-one will bother calling the police. After the TV cameras leave, the companies will just resort to ‘extra-judicial’ means to stop activists.