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State Appeals Court Rules Valve Turners Can Proceed With Necessity Defense for Pipeline Protest


State Appeals Court Rules Valve Turners Can Proceed With Necessity Defense for Pipeline Protest

Jessica Corbett, staff writer

In a victory for activists who shut down a tar sands pipeline as part of a multi-state protest in 2016, a Minnesota appeals court has ruled that the "valve turners" can present a defense that their action was necessary because of the threat that fossil fuel production poses to the planet.


Great news! Progress in slow, steady increments, but progress in legal argument. The legal victories are mounting.


This article should mention that the necessity defense was also successfully used in Washington state.


Yes. Sometimes the good guys win. I hope we have enough time to turn this around, but Dr. Hansen sounds somewhat less than optimistic.


This is the Trump defense: suppress the truth.


If you read Storms of My Grandchildren you would know exactly where Dr. Hansen now stands and that is far from optimistic.


"claiming that such a defense would jeopardize the likelihood of a successful prosecution and “unnecessarily confuse the jury.”

In other words they have a lousy case and have to do everything possible to win it. And how exactly will such a defense “confuse” the jury? If they are such nitwits that this would “confuse” them, then they shouldn’t be in public without adult supervision let alone on a jury.


If a deranged man is shooting up a Waffle House and he needs to re-load, and your best remaining alternative for the safety of the remaining people is to grab his gun away, the police aren’t going to charge you with assault.

Here’s the climate problem: crop yields are declining by 1% per year because of the bizarre weather. You can’t grow crops in dust. Potential seafood harvests are dropping too. After maybe 70 years of doing nothing your world is going to have a massive die-off. On top of this maybe civilization will fail because of the stress. Example: the Mayan civilization failed because of food.

We have options other than valve turning, but will they be effective? Did you try writing letters to the editor? Did you try an impossible run for Congress against some corrupt creep (and every state seems to have at least one of these)?

Did you try solar and other climate invention? I did. Now the inventions are there and the implementation path is just horrid.

If you can, document that your intent is civic. “Criminal intent” is a mandatory part of every criminal offense, and if you can show a reasonable chance of civic intent, an un-rigged jury should find you innocent of that offense. “If the intent doesn’t fit, you must acquit!”

Somebody is going to try an intensive civic campaign to un-rig juries despite haranguing judges.