Aberdeen Climate9 trial starts on 14th June

www.climate9.com trial starts June 14th in Aberdeen at 11am.

Support the Climate 9

“Climate9” trial – for Aberdeen runway invasion – to start on 14th June

Date Added: 17th May 2010

The Climate9 is the group of Plane Stupid activists who invaded the runway at
Aberdeen Airport in March 2009. Their trial starts on 14th June (delayed from
9th June). Their defence is that they committed a small crime in order to prevent
the much larger crime, of damaging the climate. They are remarkably brave people,
who believe passionately in the need to stop climate change, and have taken a
huge risk with their own liberty and quality of life, in order to do so.   Click here to view full story…


On June 14th, the Climate9 will be tried for vandalism and breach of the peace.
The Climate9 defence committee are a wide group of organisations and individuals
who support the actions of anti-aviation campaigners who took direct action against
airport expansion in Aberdeen in March 2009. These 9 activists now face a court
case which could get them years in prison.  They believe that the Climate9 should
be rewarded for their actions and not punished. If you agree that climate change.  
If you agree that climate change is an urgent threat which is already costing
lives and the destroying ecosystems that support us,  and that those in power need
a radical wake-up call, you can join  the  Climate9  to stand up for those who are
doing just that.  

Statements of Support:

The Climate9 need as many statements of support as possible.     info@climate9.com.    Write one for yourself or your organisation now…  You can see the many statements
already sent in on the Climate9 website.  

 Below are a few of them from around the world, and from individuals and leaders
of numerous organisations and groups – which you can see on the “Quote Rotator”:


“Climate change is a serious threat to humanity and to the planet. Governments
are failing to take effective action and we understand that the Climate 9 are
attempting to fill the gap. We wish them and their legal team the very best in
making their case in court”.

“As parents, and as human beings, we share the Climate 9’s real and justified
concern at the short term focus of those who have in their hands the guardianship
of our planet. Time is not on our side”

“That citizen’s action should replace government inaction – to ensure that legally
binding emission reduction targets are met – is entirely appropriate. Its too
late to wait, and its all too clear on whose side real justice belongs”.

“One of the big issues of the 21st century is undoubtedly that of climate change.  
Not only its implications for human existence but also for global justice.  I
support the work of those engaged in bringing light to shine on this matter of
paramount importance for our future.  I offer my solidarity to the Climate 9 defence
committee in their struggle for justice.”

“The Climate9 represent a group of interested, well informed and concerned citizens
who have an important and valid message to communicate.   The Government should
be inviting them into discussions about aviation proposals and welcoming their
views as part of a healthy deliberative debate on the future of air travel in
Britain, rather than marginalising them and treating them as criminals”.

“Those who oppose aviation expansion are trying protect people and the environment.
 I totally support their non-violent direct action and I absolutely believe they
should not in any way suffer for it.  If our laws result in brave people like
these being sent to prison, then justice has failed.   The laws are wrong, not
the people.”

“The time for talk is long over – the time has come for action.   I support the
Climate 9 action because they drew attention to climate change here, in Scotland,
as well as around the world.   People have to realise that flying will become economically
untenable and we must prepare for the inevitable now to avoid future shocks.  
Despite all the talk about tackling climate change, we are not actually preparing
for a future when energy is expensive and limited.   That future is not far away
– we cannot prepare too soon.”

“It is important to support people who are proactive in taking action to prevent
climate change. Climate9 are acting selflessly, on behalf of the earth and for
future generations; taking it upon themselves to make a statement for people worldwide
whose cries have been ignored.   They have joined a group of committed selfless
people the world over, who are ready to see a change in human behaviour on earth.  
In taking action to address climate change, they have put themselves on the line
completely. “

“It is easy to promise action on climate change – as a whole range of government
policies and international treaties can attest.   Behind the abstract targets,
though, the same old business practices continue, aided and abetted by government
support for airport expansion and aviation fuel subsidies. Those are the acts
of ‘climate criminals’, whereas the brave and vital stand taken by the Climate
9 should be welcomed for advancing the cause of climate justice.”

“I am very proud of my brother for making a stand for justice. We learnt from
our grandparents, who survived WWII, that if we see disaster looming, it is essential
that we speak out, for us, our kids and for generations to come. Whatever the
price they have to pay for speaking the truth, the Climate9 are publicly prepared
to do to help bring justice for those badly affected by climate change.”

“Dan Glass  has always passionately believed that those fortunate enough to receive
an education have a duty to use it for the betterment of society and the planet.  
As President of the University of Sussex Students’ Union Dan worked tirelessly
through formal and informal channels to make real, positive change and inspired
many other young people to fight for what they believed in and to actively question
the decisions and the decision makers within our society.   A healthy society needs
these people.”

“In my experience governments are often enabled to change their views by people
who have the moral bravery to challenge unjust laws and unwise decisions.   Pursuing
a policy of airport expansion whilst continuing to talk about environmental concern
is one illustration of inconsistent government.   I personally appreciate the actions
of the Climate 9 (and of Plane Stupid) as they challenge all of us – governments
and law makers included – to face up to the reality that our actions need to live
up to our rhetoric.”

“Civilisation has never progressed by squatting in its comfort zone.   The great
human breakthroughs have always been led by small clusters of brave individuals
taking costly stands.  History will be the ultimate court of opinion that will
judge the climate protestors. In so doing, may its hand not be forced to judge
our wider British society too harshly”

“Climate change is an unfolding public health catastrophe which is already killing
people and damaging the health of populations around the world.   Aviation makes
a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.   Dan Glass and his colleagues
are public health advocates who deserve our support.”

When Stephen Hester, CEO of RBS was asked at their AGM in Edinburgh April 2010
why he invested millions of taxpayers money into environmentally destructive projects,
his response was "it is not a crime!"

If the banks won’t listen, and our governments won’t listen then it is time for
the people to stand up and be heard.   The crime here is not the conscience of
the people, it is those who are ignoring the truth of the destruction that airport
expansion brings with it.   I salute the Climate 9 for standing up for what can
only be right, to protect the planet against the march of ecocide.”

“The UK government has shown remarkable hypocrisy in it’s acknowledgement of
the urgency of the climate threat when it continues to encourage the growth of
what is already the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.   It is
our duty as citizens to inform and encourage our representatives to do the right
thing, and to do the right thing ourselves when they refuse.   I commend the nine
activists involved in this case. “


…. and there are many, many more statements of support….


You can follow the Climate9 on Twitter at   http://twitter.com/Climate_9

and on Facebook at   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Climate9/116442351708463?ref=search


Here is some background to the trial process in Scotland, from the Climate9:


Criminal Prosecutions in Scotland

Criminal Prosecutions in Scotland take place under either Summary or Solemn Procedure.  

Summary procedure relates to the less serious criminal matters and is dealt with in either
the District Court on in the local appropriate Sheriff Court.   These proceedings
are dealt with by a Sheriff, a Justice of the Peace or, in Glasgow only, a Stipendiary
Magistrate sitting alone.

More serious matters are dealt with under Solemn procedure.   These are matters which are dealt with either a Judge in the High
Court sitting with a Jury or by a Sheriff sitting in the local Sheriff Court also
sitting with a Jury.

All Prosecutions under Solemn procedure are at the instance of Her Majesty’s
Advocate, the Prosecutor in Scotland.   In Sheriff Court proceedings the Lord Advocate
is represented by a local Procurator Fiscal Depute and in the High Court by an
Advocate Depute.    

A Jury in Scotland consists of 15 members of the public chosen at random prior
to the start of a Trial.   The Defence are not allowed to challenge the selection
of any witness except on cause shown.   A Juror is taken oath prior to the commencement
of a Trial to "well and truly try the accused according to the evidence".   Before
the commencement of evidence Juror members are admonished by the Judge to declare
any special interest or knowledge they may have in the proceedings.   If a person
declares such an interest the usual practice is for him/her to be excused from
sitting as a Juror in that case.

There are no opening speeches in Scottish Trials in either Summary or Solemn
procedure.   It is for the Prosecution to prove their case by leading evidence
which is sufficient, credible and reliable.   The burden of proof lies with the
Crown and the standard of proof in Criminal Trials is beyond reasonable doubt.  
Accordingly, the Crown opens its case by calling it’s first witness.   Other than
having the charge or charges read over to them the Jury should have no particular
knowledge of the case before them.  

Evidence is taken from a Crown Witness firstly by the prosecutor and then the
witness is cross-examined by each of the accused if the accused Counsel thinks
it appropriate.   This process is repeated throughout the entire Crown case.   It
is not necessary for the Defence to cross-examine any witnesses although the Defence
must set out the basis of the Defence in the course of cross-examination of Crown

At the end of the evidence of Crown witnesses it is open to the Defence if they
deem it appropriate to make legal submissions about the sufficiency of evidence
led at that point.   The purpose of this is to argue that the evidence which has
been led is insufficient to establish a prima facie case against an accused person.  
If this argument succeeds the Trial is brought to an end at that point.   It may
succeed in part leading to deletion of certain averments from the charge or it
may fail in which case it is up to the Defence to choose to lead evidence if felt

There is no requirement for an accused person to give evidence in his own case.  
If an accused person chooses to do so he is examined in chief in the first instance
by his/her own Counsel and thereafter cross-examined by Counsel for the other
accused, if any, and the Crown.   The rules of procedure are precisely the same
during the Defence case.

At the end of the Defence case all of the evidence should have been led.   If
there is any evidence which has been agreed prior to the Trial between the Crown
and the accused this will now be made known to the Jury through the reading over
of a document referred to as a Joint Minute.    

Thereafter there are speeches firstly by the Crown, secondly by the Defence and
finally directions on the law by the Judge or Sheriff.   At the close of directions
the Jury are sent out to consider their verdict.

There are three verdicts available in Scotland.   They are guilty, not guilty
and not proven.    

To return a verdict of guilty a Jury of 15 requires to return a simply majority
that is there must be eight in support of guilt.

To return a verdict of acquittal, that is not guilty or not proven, there again
requires to be a majority in favour of acquittal albeit not necessarily eight
for not guilty or eight for not proven but simply a combination of both mounting
to eight.   There is no distinction between not guilty and not proven.

Sentencing in Scotland is entirely a matter for the Judge or Sheriff.   In cases
proceeding in the Sheriff Court before a Sheriff and Jury the Sheriff has a maximum
sentencing power of 5 years in custody although he/she may, if he deems the matter
to be particularly serious, remit the matter to the High Court for sentence.



see also


the Independent report on the verdict in September 2008 on the Kingsnorth Six:



Jurors accepted defence arguments that the six had a “lawful excuse” to damage
property at Kingsnorth power station in Kent to prevent even greater damage caused
by climate change. The defence of “lawful excuse” under the Criminal Damage Act
1971 allows damage to be caused to property to prevent even greater damage – such
as breaking down the door of a burning house to tackle a fire.

The not-guilty verdict, delivered after two days and greeted with cheers in the
courtroom, raises the stakes for the most pressing issue on Britain’s green agenda
and could encourage further direct action. …… continues ….