Extinction Rebellion protester: Government should be on trial

More than 1,000 people were arrested during protests

Friday, August 9, 2019

A former banker who is due to stand trial over his participation in mass Extinction Rebellion protests said the government should instead be facing court for failing to inform the public about climate change.

Andrew Medhurst quit his job to volunteer for the activist group, and was arrested in April during widespread protests that brought parts of central London to a standstill.

He has denied a charge of failing to comply with a police order, and will stand trial in November,

Outside the court Medhurst said he should not be the one on trial.

“It's just criminal for governments to not tell citizens what is in store and as a result I think it would be more appropriate for officials of Her Majesty's government to be in court,” he said.

Medhurst was among a group of 60 activists, ranging in age from 20 to 76 years old, to face court on Friday.

More than 1,000 demonstrators were arrested in April and the courts have set aside two London courtrooms every Friday to process them.

They are charged with a range of civil disobedience offences including failing to disperse, obstructing a police officer and failing to comply with police orders.

The Metropolitan Police has rebuffed Extinction Rebellion’s calls to drop the charges, despite the strain it has caused on the courts.

The protest group said there is another mass demonstration planned for October and police have pledged to stop a repeat of the disruption.

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