Cloud Cafe - Defend our Juries!

Start: 2023-10-11 19:30:00 UTC British Summer Time (GMT+01:00)

End: 2023-10-11 21:00:00 UTC British Summer Time (GMT+01:00)

A link to attend this virtual event will be emailed upon RSVP

As the Government ramps up its programme of repression against all those who expose its criminality and corruption, trials of those taking nonviolent direct action are increasingly taking place in the Crown Court before a jury.

In the last few years, juries have acquitted (among others) those who have: i) toppled the statue the slave-trader, Edward Colston, into Bristol Harbour; ii) defaced Shell’s HQ in response to Shell’s lies and crimes; iii) blocked the M4 to demand action on the climate crisis and fuel poverty; iv) targeted Elbit, who manufacture the drones used to kill Palestinians; and v) intervened to prevent violent deportations to Jamaica.

This spectacle of people power and solidarity is deeply unnerving to the establishment and corporate media. Jury trial is supremely important to the British public, and it would be politically impossible for the Government to remove it. So, the courts have surreptitiously sought to undermine the substance of jury trial, while preserving its appearance.

In particular the courts are:

  • Banning those engaged in campaigns of political resistance from explaining their motivations and beliefs to the jury
  • Disallowing or ignoring relevant evidence and witnesses (including expert testimony as to the Government’s failure to act on the scientific advice)
  • Telling the jury that motives, even if articulated, are irrelevant and must be ignored
  • Sending people to prison just for using the terms “climate change” and “fuel poverty” in court.
  • Banning references to a jury’s right to acquit a defendant as a matter of conscience.
  • Arresting and referring for prosecution those who remind jurors of their right to make decisions on their conscience.
  • Directing the jury that defences such as necessity, proportionality or reasonable excuse are not available.
  • Limiting the time to present a defence to 15 minutes.
The speakers include:

  • Val Saunders, XR member and activist
  • Andy Williams, XR member and activist
  • Jonathan Fuller, environmental and civil liberties campaigner
  • Dr Tim Hewlett, Scientists rebellion

Following presentations from the speakers, there will be opportunity for discussion and debate from the audience. Everyone is welcome.

Can’t make it on the night? Register anyway and you will be sent the recording.