Aberdeen Climate 9 remain defiant after Court sentence of only small fines

25/08/2010   (Climate 9 press release)
 
Nine Plane Stupid protesters who shut down Aberdeen airport on the morning of
March 3rd 2009 appeared in court today to finally receive their sentences. The
judge and court took the protesters’ urgent message on climate change seriously
and gave out very modest fines ranging from £300 to £700 each adding up to a total
cost of around £4000 – £5000.

Crowds of activists, local supporters and press gathered outside Aberdeen Sheriff
Court at 10am for the sentencing hearing of the Climate 9, the group recently
found guilty of Breach of the Peace for occupying the city’s airport last year.
During the two week trial in June, expert witnesses explained how aviation emissions
are fuelling climate change and detailed some of the local effects, including
flooding impacts.

In anticipation of the sentencing one of the trial’s expert witnesses Dr Geoff
Meaden said:

"Society’s problem is that, other than through civil disobedience, there are
often no legitimate means of getting governments (at any level) to ‘act correctly’
or to act in the best long term interests of people, environments or indeed the
planet. In the absence of such a ‘jury’ or ‘commission’, then we have to be glad
that there are groups such as Climate9 who are bold enough to bring to the public’s
attention existing injustices."

Since the trial the group has also received support from communities around the
world, suffering from climate change effects, with commitment to keep the 9 active
in taking action to stop runaway climate change. The group have vowed to continue
their campaign highlighting the danger of aviation carbon emissions.

Dan Glass, one of the Climate9 members said:

“Against the backdrop of the Copenhagen Summit failures and new waves of climate
chaos, all over the world people demanding climate justice have complained to
the politicians and to the judges. It’s time we did something for ourselves. The
Climate9 will not uphold increasing state and police repression and camouflage
the struggle that is climate injustice. The Climate9 provide an opportunity to
spread the need for urgent action, to halt airport growth and to challenge the
authorities with pride and confidence. Whatever we received today, this climate
court trial won’t be the last time. Our future and the health of every species
is too important to leave it in the hands of the few."

One such group is The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland who passed this
in the AGM in response to the Climate9 movement.

“Affirm that there are times when non violent direct action   involving potential
and actual civil disobedience in the form of deliberate lawbreaking, may be regarded
as a legitimate approach to expressing the Gospel.”  

2 days before sentencing one of Britain’s best-known defence barristers also
threw his weight behind the Climate9 before they were due to be sentenced in Aberdeen
Crown Court.   Michael Mansfield QC said:

 "As I write one fifth of Pakistan, already blighted by earthquakes, is covered
with flood waters threatening the health and safety of over six million people.
Without conscientious and principled protest which focuses on the undoubted factors
which contribute to this decimation of the environment, the urgency of the problem
will not be addressed. I trust these entirely legitimate and selfless objectives
will be reflected in the way the Climate 9 are judged by the court.”

Jimmy Kerr, one of the Climate9 members said:

"The trial generated public support from many corners keeping up the pressure
on the legal system to one day recognise the importance of environmental action.
Indeed we need to keep that momentum up. There is so much knowledge to be shared
as a result of this case, from and legal issues, to public health to popular education
and much much more. We can offer talks, workshops or advice and you can help by
arranging an event and inviting us to take part."

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

(1) Michael Mansfield QC’s full statement is “There is an environmental clock
ticking towards irretrievable global disaster for future generations – it is nothing
less than a breach of world peace on a massive scale. Political summits like Kyoto
and Copenhagen can’t even agree satisfactory targets let alone effect implementation.
As a consequence individual and collective action to curtail our destructive footprints
is a categorical and immediate imperative for everyone. Remaining silent or doing
nothing are not options. As I write one fifth of Pakistan, already blighted by
earthquakes, is covered with flood waters threatening the health and safety of
over six million people. Without conscientious and principled protest which focuses
on the undoubted factors which contribute to this decimation of the environment,
the urgency of the problem will not be addressed. I trust these entirely legitimate
and selfless objectives will be reflected in the way the Climate 9 are judged
by the court.”

For all the Climate9 statements of support please see (http://www.climate9.com/statements-of-support/)

Interviews with key witnesses and the 9 available throughout this week



Other relevant links

Climate 9
http://www.climate9.com

Plane Stupid http://www.planestupid.com

Recent coverage: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/23/uk-emission-cuts-airport-protest-trial

Aberdeen Action http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east/7924952.stm

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=3230

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east/7924952.stm

 

see also

 

Yes, we broke the law as climate change activists. And this is why. Dan Glass

 26th August 2010           Dan Glass, one of the Climate9, writing in the Guardian, says the group are not
“terrorists” but people who believe delivering their message on climate change
is worth being charged and fined. The Climate9 are ordinary people, but part of
a growing movement of concerned citizens prepared to put their bodies in the way
of dangerous high-carbon developments – and know this is justified, proportionate
and necessary in the face of catastrophic climate change.       Click here to view full story…

 

see also

Climate 9: Found guilty of breach of the peace at Aberdeen Airport

 

The Climate 9 have been found guilty of breach of the peace. More serious charges
of vandalism were dropped. The charges were significantly reduced over the course
of the 2 week trial. Sentence was deferred until August. The protesters were campaigning
against any expansion of the airport, claiming it would lead to more harmful carbon
emissions. The 9 are celebrating their victory in showing that peaceful protest
is a necessary and legitimate way to take the action needed on climate change.    
25.6.2010   More …..

 
 

 

 

see also

 

 

Climate activism: is the trial more important than the protest?   (Ecologist)

Date Added: 26th August 2010

The Ecologist’s analysis of the Climate 9 trial suggests that the courtroom manoeuvres
form a crucial part of the package. The Aberdeen airport defendants were given
only modest fines. It seems activists may only be more highly motivated by stiffer
sentences. Modern, savvy campaigners know the trial is a significant part of the
whole protest. Campaigning around the trial enabled the group to make links to
a wide range of organisations, even including the Church

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Climate 9: Found guilty of breach of the peace at Aberdeen Airport

25.6.2010 (BBC)

Nine guilty of Plane Stupid protest at Aberdeen Airport

Nine climate change protesters have been convicted by a jury after causing disruption
at Aberdeen Airport.

The trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court followed an incident at the airport in March
2009 involving a group called Plane Stupid.

Flights were disrupted before police moved in and made arrests.

The nine, from across the country, had denied breach of the peace. Sentence was deferred until August.

Seven were detained on an airport taxiway five hours after the protest began.
Two others, who had been on the roof of the main terminal building, were detained
shortly after.

The defendants were Mark Andrews, 26, from Edinburgh; William Boggia, 44, from
Ballater, Aberdeenshire; Matilda Gifford, 25, Daniel Glass, 26, Emilia Karwowska,
20, Jonathan Agnew, 24, and Josephine Hanson, 25, all from Glasgow; James Kerr,
35, from Paisley, Renfrewshire; and Katherine Mackay, 21, from Shipley, West Yorkshire.

The protesters were campaigning against any expansion of the airport, claiming
it would lead to more harmful carbon emissions.

‘Strong message’

A handful of 350 flights scheduled for the day were affected.   Flights to Heathrow, Paris and Amsterdam were among those delayed.

The group eventually ended their action after police said the protest had delayed
a private air ambulance taking off.  
However, Gama Aviation Ltd had told the jury it was an “operational delay” caused
by medics.

An Aberdeen Airport spokesperson said after the verdicts: “This sends out a strong
message that the actions of these individuals was not acceptable.

“We fully accept people’s right to object to issues such as climate change, and
to make their voices heard.

“Demonstrating in this manner however was irresponsible, had the airport not
taken prompt action to by closing the flying operation someone could have been
seriously hurt.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east_orkney_and_shetland/10417813.stm

 

see also

 

Climate 9 press release:

25.6.2010

Climate 9 celebrate court victory despite guilty verdict

Nine protesters who shut down Aberdeen airport in March last year have been found
guilty of breach of the peace. The charges were significantly reduced over the
course of the two week trial, with all vandalism charges being dropped.

The jury in Aberdeen- the oil capital of Europe, were the first to hear evidence
from climate scientists on the need for action since the failure of the Copenhagen
talks1

The nine are celebrating their victory in showing that peaceful protest is a
necessary and legitimate way to take the action needed on climate change. Expert
witnesses gave evidence on the desperate need for more radical emissions targets
and called for the actions of ordinary people to prevent greenhouse gas emissions
before its too late. These statements were unchallenged by the procurator fiscal
after Judge Colin Harris referred to the overwhelming scientific agreement that
climate change is anthropogenic2.

Dr Geoff Meaden, expert in biogeography and coastal hazards, who was also a key
witness3 in Greenpeace’s precedent Kingsnorth6 case4, decried government inaction;

"At present I see little evidence that governments at all levels are taking sufficient
action on climate change. Therefore, like those who have committed civil disobedience
in the past I believe that groups such as Plane Stupid must take every opportunity
to bring the urgency of climate change to the public attention."

The court watched video evidence from the protest in which defendant Dan Glass
stated;

"This is not a media stunt, this is about stopping carbon emissions. We want
to close the airport for as long as possible; to stop C02 emissions as they are
dangerous; to stop airport expansion; to highlight the social disparity between
those who cause the problems and those who suffer the impacts."

In the face of trumped up charges by the state, which barrister Frank Gallagher
described as ‘complete and utter overkill’ the nine defendants have received statements
of support from all over the world. These included documentary film-maker John
Pilger, villagers displaced by climate induced flooding in India, faith leaders,
public health experts, grandparents, and most recently from Michael Mansfield
QC.

Speaking after the trial, another of defendants Tilly Gifford said:

"We set out to show in court that policies such as the aviation white paper contradict
what the science demands. Now that the court has heard expert witnesses testify
to the imperative need to cut emissions, they are mandated to prosecute the real
criminals, the corporations who are profiting from polluting."

Ends.

 


Notes to Editor:

Climate 9 http://www.climate9.com

Plane Stupid http://www.planestupid.com

Recent coverage: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/23/uk-emission-cuts-airport-protest-trial


Aberdeen Action

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east/7924952.stm

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=3230

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east/7924952.stm

For more information and interviews contact

Pressclimate9@gmail.com

Press team: 07535 147478

1.   And the first even in Scotland.

2.   The judge referred to the radio 4 Today programme of 22nd June in which it
was stated that 98% of scientists agree that climate change is anthropogenically
caused.

3.   The court also heard from Dr Alice Bows, top climate scientist from University
of Manchester.

4.   The Kingsnorth6 were acquitted in Kent in 2008 when they argued that their
occupation of a coal power station had ‘lawful excuse’ as they prevented a higher
crime to humanity through carbon emissions.

See http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/11/activists.kingsnorthclimatecamp

 

 

 

see also

 

From the Plane Stupid website:

Last year the Climate 9 stopped tonnes of dangerous greenhouse gas emissions
by disrupting operations at Aberdeen Airport. After deliberating for 4 hours,
the jury in Aberdeen- the ‘oil capital of Europe’, found them all guilty of breach
of the peace. They will be sentenced in August.


The court of international opinion has come to a slightly different verdict,
with messages of support flooding in from those on the frontline of climate change
and comenaters like John Pilger and Mike Mansfield QC.

This is the first time since the failure of the Copenhagen process that evidene
of the dangers of climate change and aviation emissions have been presented by
climate experts to a jury.

Speaking during the trial, expert witnesses Dr Alice Bows and Dr Geoff Meaden
shocked many by explaining that the UK governements emissions targets are not
radical enough to prevent future generations from experiencing catastrophic events.
Like the flooding in Brazil this week, where 100,000 people have been made homeless,
1,000 peoplle are missing and at least 42 people sadly lost their lives.

These horrific events are why we must continue to take action to stop greenhouse
gas emmissions, especially when the response from the government is woefully inadequate.

As one of the defendants, Jimmy, explained outside the court:

“While they talk, and nothing changes, people all over the world are starting
to act. Even if it means standing up against the states use of legal intimidation.
This verdict shows that the mechanisms of the establishment won’t stop run away
climate change. The expert witnessess have shown that we must take effective action,
the protest at Aberdeen has shown that we can.”

http://www.planestupid.com/

More about the Climate9 and the trial

also
 a very negative and hostile report from the Aberdeen Press & Journal
 

Airport climate protesters defiant after guilty verdict


Nine convicted of causing disruption to flights at Aberdeen

By Stacey Horne

Published: 26/06/2010
 
Nine climate-change protesters were convicted yesterday of disrupting a busy
airport – then left court insisting they were not criminals.
They claimed their campaign had made "significant progress" and even urged the
authorities to prosecute companies that were "profiting from pollution".
The Plane Stupid protesters – known as the Climate 9 – had been on trial accused
of forcing the closure of Aberdeen Airport in March last year, prevented an aircraft
from landing and taking off and putting people in a state of fear and alarm.
They could not hide their disappointment when the jury of six women and nine
men found them guilty of breach of the peace after deliberating for four hours.
The nine – Mark Andrews, William Boggia, Matilda Gifford, Daniel Glass, Emilia
Karwowska, James Kerr, Katherine MacKay, Jonathan Agnew and Josephine Hanson –
will be sentenced in August.
Glass said the group had received a lot of support from throughout the world
and that the 10-day trial had had the effect of "pushing the goalposts" on recognition
by the government and legal system of the impact of climate change.
He said: "They took hours to deliberate on it so it obviously was not a clear-cut
decision.
"My concern is that, if the courts and the government are delegitimising peaceful
action, then what other course of action do we have?
"If we do not support people who are affected by climate change in a peaceful
way, then I think there will be many questions asked in years to come."
Kerr said after the trial: "The law may have found us guilty of breach of the
peace but in the court of public opinion we have received overwhelming support.
Our governments are failing to act.
"The fact is that action needs to be taken. People need to take this action to
stop numerous emissions.
"We have been found guilty of breach of the peace but we do not think of ourselves
as criminals. We have taken action to prevent climate change."
Gifford said: "Now that the court has heard expert witnesses testify to the imperative
need to cut emissions, they are mandated to prosecute the real criminals, the
corporations who are profiting from polluting."
Boggia, 44, of Abergeldie Cottage, Ballater; Andrews, 26, of 33 Panmure Place,
Edinburgh; Gifford, 26, of 108 Wilton Street, Glasgow; Glass, 26, of 1 Willowbank
Street, Glasgow; Karwowska, 20, of 40 West End Park Street, Glasgow; Agnew, 24,
of 958 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow; Hanson, 25, of 40 West End Park Street, Glasgow;
Kerr, 35, of 27 Newton Street, Paisley; and MacKay, 21, of 36 Birklands Road,
Shipley, Yorkshire, had all denied of breaking the peace.
The nine had been charged originally with destroying or damaging airport property
by cutting open a section of the perimeter fence but that charge – which they
denied – was dropped last week.
Two of the protesters, Agnew and Hanson, were also charged originally with destroying
roof panels, but that charge was also dropped.
Fiscal depute Alan Townsend asked yesterday for a hearing to discuss the financial
loss the protest had caused – a sum he put at over £100,000 because of cancelled
and delayed flights.
An Aberdeen Airport spokesman said of the verdict: "This sends out a strong message
that the actions of these individuals were not acceptable.
"We fully accept people’s right to object to issues such as climate change and
to make their voices heard. Demonstrating in this manner, however, was irresponsible.
"Had the airport not taken prompt action by closing the flying operation, someone
could have been seriously hurt.
"Our passengers were greatly inconvenienced during this incident and we remain
grateful to them for their support. The hope is that we can now move on from this."
Sheriff Colin Harris accepted a motion to confiscate items that had been used
as evidence, including pliers and wire cutters, and deferred sentence until August
25.
 
Read more: http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1800629?UserKey=#ixzz0s437CagW

Read more »

Climate9: Day 9. Reflections on the Trial – Last day tomorrow

24.6.2010 (UK Indymedia)


 Climate scientists have expressed that the UK government’s emission targets are
not radical enough to a criminal for the first time in a Scottish court this week.
Vandalism charges have been dropped. Hear it from the defendants in written update
and come and support tomorrow!

Very likely to get jury verdict tomorrow for nine defendants on trial for shutting
down Aberdeen airport last March. for more background info check www.climate9.com

Come down to Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Union St, Aberdeen for 10am to show support.
Would be brilliant to see you there!

Reflections from last 2 weeks:

After 15 months on bail preparing and 9 incredibly intense days in the courtroom
it is surreal to be so close to the end. Tomorrow leaves only the Judge’s instructions
to the jury and then their deliberations and verdict.

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for the 9 of us, we’ve had some hard decisions
to make but also lots of victories along the way. The biggest of which is the
strength our group has managed to sustain and the massive support that we’ve received.

The first day was mainly taken up with waiting about and the selection of the
jury. It was weird for the 9 of us, most not having spent much time in a court
room, getting used to the hierarchies (even down to the different comfort factor
of the chairs people get to sit on!) and language used.

The prosecution case took 6 days, some of which was fabulously interesting and
some mind numbingly boring. The court heard from police officers, security guards,
airport staff and managers including that of the air ambulance service. We saw
the video of the action; pictures of the banners and wire fortress; lots of pieces
of evidence including plastic golf clubs, home-made golf balls with inscriptions
of places affected by climate change like ‘Sipson’ ‘Aberdeen’ and ‘rainforests’
on them and various pieces of golfing clothes.

It was great to see the faces of the jury change as they got a better picture
of what the action was and who we are as people.  It was stated again and again
by the prosecution witnesses that we were "peaceful" and "polite" confounding
preconceptions of who would normally be tried by a jury.

Our first big win came in the form of Stephen Wright from GAMA aviation who manages
the air ambulance flights at Aberdeen. After all the stresses at the time of the
action, and the bad press that followed, it was great to have it confirmed by
Wright that the delay to the ‘baby flight’ "was due to our operational delay by
the medics and not the protestors. This incident has had no financial or life
threatening or operational impact on our operation."

However the biggest win of all came from the legal discussions around the relevancy
of our witnesses. We won the right to have our climate defence experts heard as
our defence. This is the first time in Scotland that a Jury has been allowed to
hear a climate defence. AMAZING! On the same day all 9 were acquitted of the vandalism
charge due to insufficient evidence.

A real high point of the whole experience and a good reminder of why we were
there was when our experts got to speak. Doctor Geoff Meaden spoke first, expert
on flooding and sea level rises, talking articulately about the real effects of
climate change happening now and the imminent climate catastrophe if we continue
as we are. Dr. Meaden also successfully managed to bring the effects of climate
change home to Aberdeenshire, speaking about unprecedented flooding frequency
near Elgin (at which point the jury were scribbling their notes furiously) Alice
Bows spoke next, honestly and convincingly, and made the connection between Aviation
and climate change indisputable. Some of her points about the Climate Change Bill’s
targets were shocking. She told the court that even if we met the climate target
of 80% reduction by 2050 we still only have a 50-50 chance of avoiding "dangerous
climate change". Scary but motiving to say the least.

Unfortunately with our defence starting came some massively hard decisions. We
all had strong and varying opinions and 9 advocates chewing our ears off too.
We had to decide if we were going to call the last two of our climate experts
and whether we, as the accused, would speak.

They were both difficult decisions to make as a group but consensus worked for
us and allowed us to come out the other side alive and black-eye free. We decided
due to logistical reasons and advice from our Advocates that we wouldn’t call
the last two witnesses Jenny Griffiths and Tim Jones (the judge had already said
Patrick Harvey MSP and convener of the climate change committee was not relevant)

However, the hardest decision was definitely about speaking ourselves. We felt
torn between wanting to participate in our own trial and explain our motivations
and the risks we faced through cross examination. In the end we decided not to
stand as witnesses, to keep the focus on the real problem of climate change instead
of getting dragged into talking about the technicalities of the alleged offence.

The closing speeches by our advocates took all day today, eclipsing the feeble
attempt to criminalise us by the prosecution. They spoke about right to protest,
the necessity of civil disobedience, the disproportionate response of the state
to our actions and climate change as an indisputable fact in court. The jury seemed
interested throughout lets hope they took some of it on board.

The biggest thing that hit us was the dichotomy between the archaic legal system
and the reality of why we were there. Sitting in a court room listening to seemingly
insignificant legal technicalities when we know the severity of the situation,
doesn’t make sense. By 2050 it is predicted that 50% of current species on the
planet will be extinct due to inability to adapt to rapid climate changes. What
a messed up world we live in, and exactly why we must take action now.

It has been a massive learning curve, we hope to pass on the knowledge. Fingers
crossed for tomorrow!

https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/06/454282.html

 

 

More about the Climate9 and the trial

Read more »

Climate9 trial: UK emission cuts ‘not radical enough’, airport protest trial told

23.6.2010 (Guardian)


Climate scientist giving evidence for the Plane Stupid defence says 80% target
will not prevent ‘dangerous’ climate change

by Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent

Government plans to cut UK carbon emissions by 80% over the next 40 years are
not radical enough to prevent “dangerous” climate change, a trial of nine climate
protesters heard today.

The climate scientist Dr Alice Bows, a specialist from the Tyndall centre for
climate change research, also told a jury that the growth in aviation was a “big
issue” because its emissions caused particular harm at higher altitude.

Bows was giving evidence for the defence at the trial of nine members of the
Plane Stupid protest group, who were facing breach of the peace and vandalism
charges for occupying Aberdeen airport and disrupting flights in March last year.

The jury at Aberdeen sheriff court heard yesterday that the vandalism charges against all nine accused – five men and four women – had been
dropped by the prosecution because of insufficient evidence.

Bows, who has a PhD in atmospheric physics, said the Scottish government’s climate
change programme, which seeks to cut emissions by up to 40% by 2020 and 80% by
2050, was “welcome” but not enough. The UK government has a similar 2050 target.

“That’s a very big challenge but not high enough,” she said. “If we want to have
a chance of avoiding climate change, our emission reductions would have to be
more. “If we achieve the short term and the 80% target, we have a 50-50 chance
of avoiding dangerous climate change. The later you leave it, the harder it gets.”

Bows added that the aviation industry was of particular concern.

“Condensation trails, or the white trails, are also causing climate warming.
On a UK basis, air travel contributes 6% of carbon dioxide emissions. If you compare
that to other sectors, it’s quite a significant contribution,” she said.

“The big issue with aviation is the level of growth. The UK has a high level
of emissions compared to the rest of the world.”

Finding and introducing a greener alternative to kerosene could take between
30 and 50 years to develop. She said: “There would be certain people, certain
sectors of society, you might want to encourage to fly less.”

Dr Geoff Meaden, a geographer who gave evidence at the trial of the Kingsnorth
power station climate protesters, said rising temperatures due to climate change
were already affecting weather patterns in the north-east of Scotland.

While sea level rises and hotter summers were hitting southern Britain, flooding
was becoming a particular problem in the Aberdeen area. “In a period of six years,
there were three major floods in the Elgin and Lossiemouth areas and these were
unprecedented,” he said.

“If we look back at the historical records, we have not seen that frequency in
the past – it was a one in a 200-year event. It can be avoided if sufficient and
urgent action is taken. There has to be a different outlook on energy production.
We have to stop burning fossil fuel. That’s the one major thing we can do.”

The nine defendants, Dan Glass, 25, Emilia Kawowska, 19, Tilly Gifford, 24, Josie
Hanson, 25, and Jonathan Agnew, 22, all from Glasgow, Mark Andrews, 25, from Edinburgh,
James Kerr, 34, from Paisley, William Boggia, 43, from Ballater, Aberdeenshire,
and Kate Mackay, 20, from Shipley, West Yorkshire, all deny the charges.

The trial continues today.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/23/uk-emission-cuts-airport-protest-trial

 

see also

BBC

Airport trial told carbon emissions cuts ‘not enough’

Plans to dramatically cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 are not high enough
to prevent “dangerous” climate change, an expert has claimed.

Dr Alice Bows made the warning while appearing for the defence in the trial of
nine people alleged to have caused major disruption at Aberdeen Airport.

She said the aviation industry caused particular harm to the environment.

The trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court follows an incident at the airport in March
2009.

A group called Plane Stupid was involved in the incident.

Dr Bows, from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Manchester, said
government carbon reduction plans were “welcome” but not enough.

The defendants are Mark Andrews, 26, from Edinburgh; William Boggia, 44, from
Ballater, Aberdeenshire; Matilda Gifford, 25, Daniel Glass, 26, Emilia Karwowska,
20, Jonathan Agnew, 24, and Josephine Hanson, 25, all from Glasgow; James Kerr,
35, from Paisley, Renfrewshire; and Katherine Mackay, 21, from Shipley, West Yorkshire.

All nine deny the charges.

The trial continues.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east_orkney_and_shetland/10393771.stm

 

 www.climate9.com

Updates of the trial day by day

More about the trial, and day by day updates

Read more »

Climate 9: Expert witnesses to give evidence on climate change on Wednesday

22.6.2010   (Climate 9)

Day 7- Tuesday 22nd June – Expert witnesses to be heard tomorrow-

Expert witnesses Dr Alice Bows , top climate scientist from the Tyndall Centre, and Dr Geoff Meaden , Geographer and key witness for the Kingsnorth6 case will be testifying to the
urgent need for climate action on the 8th day of the Climate9 court case.

Alice Bows will testify to the urgent need to cut aviation emissions in order
to avoid catastrophic climate change, while Geoff Meaden will talk about the local
impacts of climate change here in Aberdeen and the fallacy of current political
inaction.

The prosecution has now finished and the defence case began this Monday. Further
expert witnesses will be called for the rest of the week and the case is currently
expected to be closed on Friday.

 

http://www.climate9.com/news/

 

There is more about Dr Alice Bows at  

http://www.seaes.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/staff/staffprofile.php?id=241

 

and Geoff Meaden’s statement to the Kingsnorth Six trial  at

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/files/pdfs/climate/meaden1.pdf

 

 

and more on the Climate 9 trial

 

 

Read more »

Climate 9: Criminal damage charges dropped against 2 of the 9

21.6.2010 (Climate 9)

Day 6 – Monday 21st June – Criminal Damage Charges Dropped- 

Today the Crown Prosecution came to a close. The Procurator Fiscal is dropping
the charges of Criminal Damage for the two protesters on the roof of Aberdeen
airport.   The defence case is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

The police Constable R. Bird read out a printed Press Release and a note, seized
from Dan Glass and Jonathon Agnew, respectively.

The court heard that part of the press release stated:

‘BAA Aberdeen said they welcome Donald Trump’s Golf Course.  Like Alex Salmond,
Trump wants to bulldoze over democratic opposition to environmentally damaging
projects like airport expansion.   Both Trump and BAA’s plans face fierce local
opposition.   Dan Glass, one of the protesters stated;

"The reality is that our generation’s future is vanishing so that people like
Donald Trump and his super-rich friends can jet into Aberdeen for a round of golf.
The expansion of this airport just cannot go ahead."

Another, 24 year old Tilly Gifford,a social worker from Glasgow, said:

"Alex Salmond wants to let the Spanish shareholders of BAA, Donald Trump and
his super-rich American friends concrete over Scotland and its efforts to stop
runaway climate change."

She added:

"Arctic ice is melting, the sea is already rising and experts warn the world’s
rainforests could collapse. Our generation is already starting to feel these impacts
as the warming kicks in so it’s obvious that it’s going to need to be us that
urgently put the brakes on expanding unnecessary airports."

A bag of imitation golf balls were also exhibited as part of the Crown’s productions.
"New Orleans; Dyce; Polar Bears; Clyde Bank;Rainforest; Aberdeen; Sipson" were
some of the inscriptions written on the golfballs, as read out by Police Constable
Bird.   These are just some of the places where communities are already suffering
the effects of climate change.

Leaving court today Josephine Hanson, one of the Climate9, stated that:

"I was surprised by the charges in the first place as we had conducted ourselves
so carefully during the action. To claim Criminal Damage for some residual stains
from sand bags is excessive and ludicrous. All their own evidence ridiculed the
claim of criminal damage. BAA are criminalising any voices of dissent and we will
to see that justice is done for those affected by climate change."

The case continues..

 

http://www.climate9.com/news/

 

more on the Climate 9 case

Read more »

Climate9 trial in Aberdeen: Officer tells of fears for airport

19.6.2010 (Press and Journal)

Protesters could have damaged aircraft or equipment, says inspector

By Stacey Horne

Nine protesters were arrested at Aberdeen Airport following concerns they could
damage aircraft and equipment, a police inspector said yesterday.

John Irvine, of Grampian Police, was called to the airport in the early hours
of March 3, last year, after he received a call to say there was disruption on
the runway.

The protesters are on trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, accused of breaking the
peace and placing people in a state of fear and alarm.

They accepted earlier this week that they chained themselves to metal fencing
at the airport, between 2am and 3.40am, while other members of the group accepted
they climbed on to the roof of the terminal building and unfurled a banner with
an environmental slogan on it.

The nine accused are: Mark Andrews; William Boggia; Matilda Gifford; Daniel Glass;
Emilia Karwowska; James Kerr; Katherine MacKay; Jonathan Agnew, and Josephine
Hanson.

Mr Irvine told the trial yesterday that he warned the group members that if they
did not leave then there was a possibility they could be arrested. He said: "I
told them what they were doing may lead to them to be arrested."

Fiscal depute Alan Townsend asked Mr Irvine if he was duty-bound to stay at the
airport and remove the protesters. Mr Irvine replied: "We just can’t have people
running about the airport who could cause damage to any aircraft or equipment."

Defence counsel George Gebbie QC, representing Andrews, said some of the protesters
were surprised they were being arrested over an alleged breach of the peace, after
they were told that they were breaking bylaws. Mr Irvine said he had taken the
whole situation into account and thought a charge of breach of the peace was more
appropriate than just breaching a bylaw.

Boggia, 44, of Abergeldie Cottage, Ballater; Andrews, 26, of 33 Panmure Place,
Edinburgh; Gifford, 25, of 108 Wilton Street, Glasgow; Glass, 26, of 1 Willowbank
Street, Glasgow; Karwowska, 20, of 40 West End Park Street, Glasgow; Kerr, 35,
of 27 Newton Street, Paisley; MacKay, 21, of 36 Birklands Road, Shipley, Yorkshire;
Agnew, 24, of 958 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, and Hanson, 25, of 40 West End
Park Street, Glasgow, deny cutting the airport’s perimeter fence, committing a
breach of the peace and placing others in a state of fear and alarm.

Andrews, Boggia, Gifford, Glass, Karwowska, Kerr and MacKay also deny climbing
on to the roof of the terminal and erecting a banner.

Agnew and Hanson deny erecting fencing on the taxiway and attaching themselves
to it. They are also accused of damaging a number of roof panels at the terminal,
which they also deny.

The trial, before Sheriff Colin Harris, continues on Monday.

 

Read more: http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1790402?UserKey=#ixzz0rHuUpYt0

 

 

see also

 

Climate9 trial: Ambulance worker witness tells court that protestors did not
delay ambulance flight

Date Added: 17th June 2010

The trial of the Climate 9 protesters in Aberdeen heard on Wednesday from an
air ambulance witness that the protesters were not responsible for delaying an
air ambulance, as had previously been suggested during yesterday’s evidence for
the prosecution. He said: “Our flight was scheduled to take off at 8.00am this
morning, but in fact took off about 8.35am, but this was due to our operational
delay by the medics and not the protestors”. The trial continues.

Click here to view full story…



 

Climate9 trial: Plane Stupid protest “delayed take-off for air ambulance” at
Aberdeen airport

Date Added: 15th June 2010

On the 2nd day of the Climate9 trial in Aberdeen, the airport’s duty manager
told the court that emergency helicopter flight was unable to leave because the
airport had been shut down. However, the defence advocate established that there
was no physical reason why the helicopter could not take off, as the activists
only occupied a very small part of the runway. The airport says the helicopters
could not take off as the airport was technically closed for safety.

Click here to view full story…



 

Aberdeen Climate 9 trial – for invasion of runway in 2009 – hope to set precedent

Date Added: 14th June 2010

The trial of the 9 activists who invaded the runway at Aberdeen in March 2009
has started in Aberdeen. Their action was designed to stop carbon emissions from
aviation and to highlight the links between Donald Trump’s planned hotel and golf
course complex and the expansion of Aberdeen airport. The Climate 9 are arguing
the defence of necessity. They argue that their actions were justified because
they were trying to prevent runaway climate change.

Click here to view full story…



 

Aberdeen Climate9 trial starts on 14th June

Date Added: 8th June 2010

The Climate9’s trial starts in Aberdeen on 14th June. The 9 are charged with
vandalism and breach of the peace. Their defence, at the most important climate
change trial ever in Scotland, will be that they committed a smaller crime, in
order to prevent a larger one. That was the defence that won the case for the
Kingsnorth Six in ~September 2008. You can send the Climate9 a message of support,
or read the dozens from around the world.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Climate9: Day 4 of the trial in Aberdeen

19.6.2010

Day 4 – Thursday 17th June – Video of protest establishes real objectives of
the action

The hour long video of the Aberdeen protest, as recorded by the police, was screened
to the court and jury.

When the police negotiator suggests they have made their point, have generated
publicity and can now pack up and go, one of the accused clearly states that their
objectives differ. He states that they are there to:

"Close the airport for as long as possible; to stop airport expansion; to end
short haul flights; to get people in high-emission industry into green jobs; to
highlight the social disparity between those who cause the problems and those
who suffer the impacts."

On the video, time and time again we see the protestors seek confirmation of
the ambulance delay, affirming that they are willing to leave immediately as soon
as it has been established that they are a genuine obstacle to the take off of
the air ambulance.

The police witness affirmed that during the action all the protestors were "fully
compliant and in good spirits".

 

Daily updates of the trial are at   http://www.climate9.com/news/

 

See also more news about the trail at  

and

Climate9 trial: Ambulance worker witness tells court that protestors did not
delay ambulance flight

Date Added: 17th June 2010

The trial of the Climate 9 protesters in Aberdeen heard on Wednesday from an
air ambulance witness that the protesters were not responsible for delaying an
air ambulance, as had previously been suggested during yesterday’s evidence for
the prosecution. He said: “Our flight was scheduled to take off at 8.00am this
morning, but in fact took off about 8.35am, but this was due to our operational
delay by the medics and not the protestors”. The trial continues.

Click here to view full story…



 

Climate9 trial: Plane Stupid protest “delayed take-off for air ambulance” at
Aberdeen airport

Date Added: 15th June 2010

On the 2nd day of the Climate9 trial in Aberdeen, the airport’s duty manager
told the court that emergency helicopter flight was unable to leave because the
airport had been shut down. However, the defence advocate established that there
was no physical reason why the helicopter could not take off, as the activists
only occupied a very small part of the runway. The airport says the helicopters
could not take off as the airport was technically closed for safety.

Click here to view full story…



 

Aberdeen Climate 9 trial – for invasion of runway in 2009 – hope to set precedent

Date Added: 14th June 2010

The trial of the 9 activists who invaded the runway at Aberdeen in March 2009
has started in Aberdeen. Their action was designed to stop carbon emissions from
aviation and to highlight the links between Donald Trump’s planned hotel and golf
course complex and the expansion of Aberdeen airport. The Climate 9 are arguing
the defence of necessity. They argue that their actions were justified because
they were trying to prevent runaway climate change.

Click here to view full story…



 

Aberdeen Climate9 trial starts on 14th June

Date Added: 8th June 2010

The Climate9’s trial starts in Aberdeen on 14th June. The 9 are charged with
vandalism and breach of the peace. Their defence, at the most important climate
change trial ever in Scotland, will be that they committed a smaller crime, in
order to prevent a larger one. That was the defence that won the case for the
Kingsnorth Six in ~September 2008. You can send the Climate9 a message of support,
or read the dozens from around the world.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Climate9 trial: Ambulance worker witness tells court that protestors did not delay ambulance flight

16.6.2010 (Climate 9)

Ambulance Worker Witness tells court that Plane Stupid protestors did not delay
ambulance flight

The trial of the Climate 9 protesters in Aberdeen heard this morning from an
air ambulance witness that the protesters were not responsible for delaying an
air ambulance, as had previously been suggested during yesterday’s evidence for
the prosecution.

The written statement from Stephen Wright of GAMA Aviation – the firm in charge
of air ambulances out of Aberdeen Airport – given to police on Tuesday 3rd March
2009 shortly after the protest ended stated the following:

"I became aware that there was some form of protest on Aberdeen Airport this
morning, I picked up this through the media prior to attending our site. I have
contacted my Operations manager, who works out of Farnborough Airport, regarding
this matter and he informed me that he in turn had contacted the Aberdeen Airport
Duty Manager and he in turn informed us (GAMA Aviation) that due to our flight
type, was not going to be interfered with and our flight slot was guaranteed.
Our flight was scheduled to take off at 8.00am this morning, but in fact took
off about 8.35am, but this was due to our operational delay by the medics and
not the protestors
.This incident has had no financial or life threatening or operational impact
on our operation. I have no complaint regarding this matter. I was seen later
by the police and gave this statement."

During cross-examination Wright confirmed that this was the case, countering
prior claims, both during and immediately after the action and yesterday in court,
that the defendants were not at fault for endangering lives during the air side
action.

Juliana Napier, from the Climate 9 defence committee (1) said the following:
"This evidence is incredibly important in establishing what happened during the
action. The Climate 9 freely assembled inside Aberdeen airport to stop the harmful
emissions causing runaway climate change and raise awareness of the issue. They
did this to ensure that our own and future generations can enjoy good health in
a healthy environment not to endanger the lives or health of anyone."

The prosecution will present witnesses for the next few days and the trial is
set to continue until the end of next week.



Messages of support have been flooding in, and key among them are those from
John Pilger (human rights journalist), Caroline Lucas MP, The Muslim Council of
Scotland, Chris Smout. Historiographer Royal in Scotland, and environmental historian
and many more (2)

The trial is expected to last around two weeks.


Notes to Editors:

(1)   Climate 9 Defence Committee

The "Climate9 Defence Committee" is a group of organisations and individuals
formed to support the 9 co-defendants outside of the court room and raise public
awareness of the trial.

For more information please contact: press@climate9.com

(2)   For more statements of support please visit: www.climate9.com/statements-of-support/

For photos please see

http://www.flickr.com/photos/planestupid/3324360633/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/planestupid/4583264443/


Other relevant links

Climate 9
http://www.climate9.com


Aberdeen Action http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east/7924952.stm

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=3230

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east/7924952.stm

Read more »

Climate9 trial: Plane Stupid protest “delayed take-off for air ambulance” at Aberdeen airport

15.6.2010   (Guardian)

Airport manager tells court that emergency helicopter flight was unable to leave
because the airport had been shut down

by Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent

A protest by climate activists on the asphalt at Aberdeen airport delayed an
emergency ambulance flight from taking off, a court heard today.

Nine climate protesters are accused of causing a breach of the peace and vandalism
after several activists allegedly clambered on to the airport’s main terminal
roof and the others chained themselves to a cage they built on the taxiway.

The charges allege that the actions of the five men and four women led to the
airport being shut down on safety grounds, preventing planes and helicopters taking
off and landing on 3 March last year.

The airport’s duty manager, Michael Frost, 56, told Aberdeen sheriff court that the emergency helicopter flight was unable
to leave after it was called out, because the airport had been shut down.

George Gebbie, one of the defence advocates, contested this account, asking: “What prevented
it?” Frost replied: “The airfield operations manager.” Gebbie added: “It is a
matter of established fact that the cage with these protesters in it did not prevent
the flight taking off.”

Frost replied: “It did up to a point because the airport was shut. Physically
it didn’t impede it but it delayed the take-off.”

The trial heard yesterday that the protesters on the asphalt played a game of mini-golf with plastic clubs and balls inside a makeshift barricade. They hung a banner for the protest group Plane
Stupid referring to billionaire property developer Donald Trump, who is building
a golf resort north of the city.

Malcolm Brown, the security operations manager, was called in early as the airport’s
duty manager because of the protest. He said the first flight was due to take
off at 6am and estimated that there were around 500-600 passengers waiting to
check in at the time.

But passengers were told their flights were delayed due to an “ongoing police
incident”. He said the protesters came down off the roof after requests from the
police at about 9am and flights resumed 10 minutes later. The jury was also told
23 helicopter flights from the North Sea oil field operator CHC were also delayed
because of the incident.

Gebbie suggested there was nothing to stop flight activity because it was a peaceful
protest. But Brown claimed there had been a “runway incursion” which jeopardised
safety.

The nine defendants, Dan Glass, 25, Emilia Kawowska, 19, Tilly Gifford, 24, Josie
Hanson, 25, and Jonathan Agnew, 22, all from Glasgow, Mark Andrews, 25, from Edinburgh,
James Kerr, 34, from Paisley, William Boggia, 43, from Ballater, Aberdeenshire,
and Kate Mackay, 20, from Shipley, West Yorkshire, all deny the charges.

The trial continues.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/15/plane-stupid-protesters-air-ambulance-aberdeen

 

 

see also

 

Aberdeen Climate 9 trial – for invasion of runway in 2009 – hopes to set precedent

The trial of the 9 activists who invaded the runway at Aberdeen in March 2009
has started in Aberdeen. Their action was designed to stop carbon emissions from
aviation and to highlight the links between Donald Trump’s planned hotel and golf
course complex and the expansion of Aberdeen airport. The Climate 9 are arguing
the defence of necessity. They argue that their actions were justified because
they were trying to prevent runaway climate change.   Environmental lawyers say
another verdict – in addition to the Kingsnorth Six verdict in 2008 –  in favour
of climate activists by a jury could mark a shift in ‘social values’. 14.6.2010    
More …..

Read more »