After several weeks at Wood Green Court, the jury has returned a unanimous NOT GUILTY verdict for the majority of defendants so far. The court is still out on two remaining charges.
Four people, including Valerie Brown (interviewed here outside the court just after the verdict), and Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam, were acquitted of Conspiracy to Damage Property, arising from actions at Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Christian Aid, and Friends of the Earth. Watch Real Media’s original coverage here.
Nine people were accused of Conspiracy To Damage Property arising from actions at the political headquarters of the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Green Parties. The jury unanimously acquitted all nine. Real Media’s coverage of the actions is here.
Judge Holmes has now indicated he will accept a majority verdict from the jury for the last two indictments. These are a charge of Burglary against two people arising from the action at the Green Party headquarters, and a charge of Conspiracy to Damage Property against five people arising from information handed to the police by a Green Party activist, Ashley Routh, who had infiltrated a Zoom planning meeting claiming that he was willing to take part in future actions.
After the arrests in 2020, Valerie Brown continued to campaign for the mayoral election on the electoral promise of handing over power to citizens’ assemblies.
Valerie believes today’s acquittals are an excellent example of how, when power is handed to a random selection of the public, and they spend time examining all the evidence and listening to a variety of experts, they will come to a sensible decision.
UPDATE 21st Feb:
This morning the jury returned a majority verdict of NOT GUILTY for Roger Hallam and four others who were accused of Conspiracy to Commit Property Damage – throwing water-based pink paint at the entrances of Trade Union and other buildings.
At the end of the day, the jury remained split over the final charge against two people who took action at the HQ of the Green Party, so Judge Holmes dismissed the jury and the Green Party and the Crown Prosecution Service will have until March 6th to decide whether to retry the case.
Out of a total of 20 separate charges relating to the Burning Pink direct action campaign, 18 have resulted in NOT GUILTY verdicts, and 2 have been dismissed with a possibility of a later retrial.