Protestors who climbed into holes dug for a high pressure gas pipeline have been found not guilty by a judge after their actions were deemed as a “legal necessity” to try and stop climate change. More than 198 people were arrested due to their actions protesting the pipeline in West Roxbury, Massachusetts in 2015. Of the 198, thirteen went to trial where they were found “not responsible” by the judge.
It appears for the first time that a judge has found a group of protestors “not responsible” on the grounds that the current climate crisis deemed it necessary to commit an act of civil disobedience. Will this set a precedent for how future cases brought against protesters and activists are treated in a court of law?