News

Join Extinction Rebellion, eco-activist tells judges

By on
28

Donnachadh McCarthy says climate protection needs greater backing from the bench, as judge reportedly tells protestors ‘you have to succeed’

Extinction Rebellion needs greater support from members of the judiciary, a prominent eco-activist has said.

Donnachadh McCarthy, an author and environmental auditor, says judges, prosecutors and the police face a tough “moral choice” following the sharp rise in climate change activism, drawing comparisons between those on the bench today and judges who oversaw the “legal persecution of Jews, gay people, gypsies [and] disabled people” during the rise of German fascism.

“Should they collude with the state protecting the genocidal fossil fuel corporations and banks”, asks McCarthy, who was arrested for his part in peaceful demonstrations on Waterloo Bridge in London last year, “or defend the people, climate and country they swore to protect?”

Writing in the Independent, McCarthy argues it’s time for “judges to stop colluding with the state oppression of those trying to protect Britain’s shores from literally being destroyed”.

He goes on to cite a number of recent examples of judges who have “already broken ranks”, including a US judge who refused to convict activists trying to block an oil pipeline, as well as a French judge that acquitted a pair of eco-protesters who removed Emmanuel Macron’s portrait from an official building.

The 2020 Legal Cheek Chambers Most List

“This judicial climate rebellion does not, of course, mean the collapse in the rule of law, as all other laws would still be upheld”, McCarthy adds.

His comments come as a judge reportedly told Extinction Rebellion protestors “you have to succeed” during his sentencing remarks.

Six activists were charged with public order offences in the wake of last summer’s protests in Oxford Circus. Three were subsequently acquitted at City of London Magistrates’ Court and three were cleared, albeit on conditional discharges.

But it’s the judge’s comments which have attracted the most attention. According to the Mirror, District Judge David Noble said:

“I have to say I have been totally overwhelmed by all the defendants. It is such a pleasure to deal with people so different from those I deal with in my regular life. Thank you for your courtesy, thank you for your integrity, thank you for your honesty. You have to succeed.”

Last year we reported that the legal arm of Extinction Rebellion had descended on the Royal Courts of Justice, calling for the profession to “step up and take a positive role in tackling the biggest challenge facing our planet.”

LAWYER EVENT: How to follow your dreams outside law while still working as a lawyer — with A&O Peerpoint: Find out more

28 Comments

tips@legalcheek.com

I may be confusing them with someone else, but aren’t the Extinction Rebellion same people who tried to block the Tube (arguably the cleanest way too travel around London) to force people to Switch to Ubers & Getts to get to work? How is this helping?

Anonymous

Further proof that the judiciary is NEVER politically independent… it needs a proper sorting out, (ideally) like what happened in France from 1944 to 1951.

Leo

What exactly are you doing?… Sometimes you have to upset the status-quo to be the catalyst for progress. Peaceful direct action – resulting in possible – prosecution isn’t a choice that most want to entertain but some do risk due to moral obligation for future generations who don’t deserve a world that has been ruined by greed and carelessness.

The ‘but it had a environmental impact elsewhere’ argument is totally short sighted and completely lacks a basic understanding of the bigger picture.

Fix up and stop making excuses. Educate yourself.

Peace

tips@legalcheek.com

“moral obligation for future generations” – helping some hypothetical future people who never asked you for help instead of helping people who actually need help here and now is just a hypocrisy. It may make you feel smug though.

Leo z

What exactly are you doing?… Sometimes you have to upset the status-quo to be the catalyst for progress. Peaceful direct action – resulting in possible – prosecution isn’t a choice that most want to entertain but some do risk due to moral obligation for future generations who don’t deserve a world that has been ruined by greed and carelessness.

The ‘but it had a environmental impact elsewhere’ argument is totally short sighted and completely lacks a basic understanding of the bigger picture.

Fix up and stop making excuses. Educate yourself.

Peace

Barry X

Extinction Rebellion is a silly cult for anxious posh people.

Jean

Yeh sure like Climate change discriminates
Please grow up

Black Woman

It does. As a Black self-employed woman earning less than most White people, do you think I have any time to spare to sit in the streets and strum a guitar?

I have bills to pay. Get out of the way and let me go to work.

Wulfruna

Well said BW.

When you see the FB pages of some of these activists they are not exactly carbon neutral. Many are very well travelled.

Anon

““This judicial climate rebellion does not, of course, mean the collapse in the rule of law, as all other laws would still be upheld”, McCarthy adds.”

Probably better google “rule of law”. I think the Rechtsstaat is actually standing on top of a London Tube train as we speak.

Anonymous

“Please don’t politicise the Judiciary”
I said
“Oh it’ll be fine, we’ll just support the ‘good’ side”
They said.

#metoo

They should be tried like the terrorists they are. Peaceful Protests? I’ve likely suffered serious psychiatric injury and to a lesser extent PTSD due to their utter anarchy.

Anonymous

At present, putting an Extinction Rebellion activist to court would be like Comrade Delta presenting himself to the equivalent of the SWP NEC… what do you think the outcome was going to be?!

Anon

I want to clear my student debt and eventually own a freehold property somewhere within London Zones 2-4 someday. Until the hippies are willing to retain me for £400+ an hour for a junior, 1800 hours a year, I’ll stick to the oil & gas retainers.

Or I can be happy knowing the ocean is 1 degree colder whilst I declare bankruptcy and settle into my cardboard box.

Wage a war on the housing crisis and salary stagnation first, then save the dolphins.

Scep Tick

“Donnachadh McCarthy, an author and environmental auditor”

Pfft. Think of the carbon footprint of all the energy used in typing all those unnecessary silent letters in his name. Physician, heal thyself.

Enough

Anon, what a narrow minded, selfish short term view you have of your life and the world around you. Wake up.

tips@legalcheek.com

To be fair, I would be genuinely afraid of person for whom dolphins and whales are more important than thousands of homeless people all over the UK. We have bigger problems at hand than this “climate emergency”.

Wulfruna

I think that the dolphin connection relates the Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy. The dolphins try to save the humans by warning them. That’s the way that I read the post.

Anonymous

The (statutory) Homeless, or the actual Roughsleeping homeless (the ones who can’t get through the day without spending at least £15 a day on cider or smack)?

The two are evidently not the same thing, and Labour lost, partly because they deliberately conflated (and continues to conflate) the two (and not realising the sympathy for the latter, is more often than not, necessarily a LOT more limited than what they would like to think), and a bunch of 20/early-30-year-olds, straight out of Uni, started lecturing people on Facebook and Twitter about ‘homelessness’, ‘veterans’ and Tories, only seemed to make it worse for them.

Anon

No.

What’s narrow minded is thinking I’m the only one who wishes to earn their way out of debt and buy a home, as many of us won’t inherit one.

What’s narrow minded is thinking the vast majority of the UK can afford to ditch fossil fuel transport for new, expensive eco friendly methods and/or electric cars. Especially with the average UK commute time at over an hour. Are you gonna buy me, or every UK plumber, teacher, police officer and garbage man a Tesla? When a Model S costs as much as a ten year old Astra, sign me up.

An environmentally progressive society is desirable. It’s a challenge for the privileged but damn near impossible for the rest of us trying to catch up little alone just get by. A number of underlying issues need to be addressed immediately – I was just flagging this up in a flippant, but clearly obvious manner.

Wulfruna

I can’t quite get my head around how electric cars are going to pan out. We will need a lot of charging points. It’s not like filling up with petrol which you can do in a few minutes. They have to be on charge for a while like a mobile phone or an ipad.

Anon

I have an engineering buddy working in the auto sector – the hot topic in his team is super capacitors. Can’t hold charges as long as traditional car batteries but are smaller and can be fully juiced up in a matter of seconds and more frequently. That’s the extent of my understanding. I’m assuming the next gen of electric cars will have a mixture of systems to aid immediate charging, as well as energy storage/recovery for a day or two of driving.

That doesn’t solve the lack of charge stations or the inability of 75-85% of the UK’s population in the car-buying/needing age and work demographic to afford these vehicles.

Wulfruna

I heard as well that hybrids are being bought because of the tax incentives but are being used as petrol cars. I guess that part of this is lack of charge stations and easier to use a petrol station. My understanding is that the petrol element is a back up but they are not being used in this way.

Don’t think I would want to buy a second hand hybrid that had been used as a company car.

Hmmm

As if the judiciary is going to willingly give up British Airways Gold Executive Club membership, several Scott Dunn holidays each year and the endless bragging rights that go with spending most of your weekends overseas.

Paul B.

Don’t believe a word from Greta Thunberg or extinction rebellion fools, if climate change is a fault of human activity we all would have been extinct years ago especially during the great industrial revolution, England’s inventors, engineers and scientists have been and are still working to improve our countries quality of life and it includes the air we breathe, engineers are working to change our mode of transport year by year and there will not be an extinction unless we are dragged into a third world war with nuclear or biological weapons, then we will cease to exist so to would most wildlife. Climate change is a natural cycle of earth called the earth’s Procession, it lasts for more than 25,000 years but it changes the angle of axis of earth, as the angle of axis is already at 23.5 degrees tilt at half way through the cycle of Procession the angle of axis changes a further 6 degrees tilt so at that point the angle of axis is almost 30 degrees tilt and the path of the sun across our skies changes so to does the suns ecliptic and temperatures will increase or decrease in areas where the ecliptic circle crosses the earth’s surface, we don’t live long enough to see a full cycle we only see part of it and that is why the ice caps are melting in certain areas and as we know already the permafrost is still melting in areas of Siberia and releasing methane gases from very deep underground decaying vegetation of millions and millions of years ago just like land fill sites in our country and others all releasing gases into the atmosphere and carried into the jet stream and we all get a taste of it and not only that the gravitational pull of the sun and moon effects the earth’s crust although very slowly but causing earthquakes, tidal changes, weather conditions will change and humans cannot do anything about it but adapt, but the Al Gore brigade like extinction rebellion are on an environmental gravey train and scaremongering our youngsters in believing that we all will be extinct because us oldies causing climate change they are totally wrong, so life is short enjoy it, take no notice of Greta Thunbergs scaremongering.

TLDR

Finished the Tort law paper but the Adderall hasn’t worn off yet?

Go make the usual YouTube rant about how jet fuel can’t melt steel beams.

Wulfruna

Extinction Rebellion seems to consist of mainly students and retired. People who have the time to protest. Some of the more extreme element would want us returning to the Stone Age and their views will never be taken seriously by the general public.

I certainly would not want to nail my flag to the mast of an organisation that stopped people going to work. These people could be employed in vital services or on zero contracts so they may lose pay. XR protests could also stop emergency vehicles attending accidents etc. Yet they seem to this that this is justified.

Leo

What exactly are you doing?… Sometimes you have to upset the status-quo to be the catalyst for progress. Peaceful direct action – resulting in possible – prosecution isn’t a choice that most want to entertain but some do risk due to moral obligation for future generations who don’t deserve a world that has been ruined by greed and carelessness.

The ‘but it had a environmental impact elsewhere’ argument is totally short sighted and completely lacks a basic understanding of the bigger picture.

Fix up and stop making excuses. Educate yourself.

Peace

Join the conversation

Related Stories