The Crown Court trial for five members of Extinction Rebellion charged with criminal damage during a protest at the Brazilian embassy begins today (Monday 12 July 2021).
The trial, at Southwark Crown Court, is only the third Extinction Rebellion trial to be decided by a jury. It follows the acquittal by a jury in April of six XR activists, despite all but one having no defence in law.
The charges relate to an action at the Brazilian Embassy in London in August 2019 during which the group, known as the Snowflakes, blockaded the main entrance. They spray painted messages onto the building and doused it in red paint to symbolise the blood of the Brazilian people, in particular indigenous people, killed under Bolsonaro’s regime.
It was one of a number of simultaneous demonstrations that took place around the world that day to highlight the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the abuse of indigenous peoples’ rights.
The defendants include: Sian Vaughan, 56, a retired primary school teacher from Pembrokeshire, Wales and Richard Barnard, 47, a former charity worker from Maidstone.
Raphael Colman, also known in Extinction Rebellion as Iggy Fox, was the sixth member of the group charged for the action. Iggy died tragically aged 25 of an undiagnosed heart condition in February 2020.
The trial will be heard before Judge Gregory Perrins and is scheduled to last between five and seven days.
For more information contact Zoe on +44 07918165046.
ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.