Pipeline Protesters Are Acquitted ‘By Reason of Necessity’

Pipeline Protesters Are Acquitted ‘By Reason of Necessity’

Karenna Gore gives statement after #ClimateTrial decision

While certain states want to charge pipeline protesters as eco-terrorists, a Massachusetts judge decides that pipeline protesters are doing their duty…

Climate activists have won a vistory. While certain states aim to prosecute pipeline protesters as eco-terrorists, a Massachusetts judge decided yesterday that pipeline protesters are doing their duty.

…Judge Mary Ann Driscoll of West Roxbury District Court decided it was necessary for the protesters to engage in civil disobedience to block the construction of Spectra Energy’s high-pressure fracked gas pipeline and acquitted the activists of civil infractions…

The judge made the decision after hearing each defendant’s testimony. They argued the threat of climate change necessitated their civil disobedience…

~ Lorraine Chow

READ MORE: Boston Judge Acquits 13 Pipeline Protesters in Groundbreaking Decision | EcoWatch

Director of Center for Earth Ethics Karenna Gore (daughter of environmentalist Al Gore), and one of the acquitted activists, gave a brief statement following the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline #ClimateTrial decision on Tuesday. You can listen to what she had to say in the video below.

What happened today was really important.

Karenna Gore

Such a legal decision would have landed an even stronger impact, if the case had gone to a jury trial. But prosecutors avoided that possibility.

…The prospect of a jury trial was rendered moot when prosecutors reduced the defendants’ charges from criminal misdemeanors to civil infractions (like a parking violation). Interestingly, the decision came after the prosecutors saw the list of expert witnesses prepared to testify for the defense — folks like world-renowned climate scientist James Hansen, former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute, and… McKibben.

Not to be dissuaded, Judge Driscoll went ahead and found the defendants “not responsible” for the infractions — “by reason of necessity.” That decision in itself may be unprecedented, but it hardly carries the same weight as a jury’s verdict in a criminal trial…

~ Wen Stephenson

READ MORE: The Boston Climate Trial That Might Have Been | Commonwealth

Civil Disobedience is Responsible


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JoAnn Chateau
JoAnn Chateau

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JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about Chester, the Alpha Bichon -- with a dash of humor and a dab of Poli-Sci. Her views and insights are tinted by a former profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and training in Library and Information Science. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


Chester is a scruffy little Bichon dog, with a congenial Napoleon Complex, and stars in "The Chester Chronicles." He sometimes reports independent Canine News -- NO corporate treats accepted, NO corporate bias. Woof!

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