Response the the SNJ article on Wed 28th April - Protestors cleared of damage at Shell HQ

‘Five Extinction Rebellion activists from Stroud were cleared of causing criminal damage to Shell’s London HQ on the 24th April at Southwark Crown Court, despite the judge directing the jurors that they had no defence in law.’

In answer to the two questions ‘why did they do the action at the Shell Building?’ and ‘why did the jurors decide they were not guilty?’, we need to know more about the facts behind the case. The facts are in three areas:-

1. Our Changing Climate due to CO2 emissions.

We are in a Climate Emergency, as declared by Parliament 2 years ago.

David Attenborough describes this as the greatest threat humanity has ever faced! Ever!!

Scientists tell us it is and will dwarf Covid many thousand times!

Many millions of people will starve, will lose their homes, and all life on Earth could even face extinction!

2. Shell’s role in all this..

Shell and other major fossil fuel companies have known and warned us about Climate Change and the dangers it will cause since at least 1988 (Shell’s ‘Green House Report’).

They warned that action was needed immediately, and failure to act would lead to climate breakdown, an over-heated Earth, leading to many, many millions of deaths.

Yet a couple of years later they created Climate Denial, and have since then funded millions of £’s to delay and block any meaningful emissions reductions. This is worse than the tobacco industry lying about links between cancer and smoking.

Over half the emissions have happened since Big Oil started their campaigns of lies and miss-information.

3. Why we needed to do criminal damage!

If we had started tackling climate change 30 years ago, we would not now be facing the mass extinction and human catastrophe that our scientists tell us we now face.

In spite of the scientific data and their warnings, our Governments have no plans to meet the emission targets they set. We are heading for a 3°C over-heated environment.

Banks, Big Business, and Governments are still investing in even more Fossil Fuels, more emissions, which all lock us into a fatal Hot-House Earth scenario.

Unfortunately we are not being told nearly enough about the dangers we are in. Or about the reasons we are in this terrifying situation.

But fortunately, when the jury were told all the facts, what the scientific data and research is saying, what the ecologists and environmentalists are telling us.. how Shell and how our governments have bahaved.. this jury acted with true courage. They chose to act on behalf of their communities, for their children, for the future, as was their duty. They saw who the real criminals were – and it was not the protestors!

Extinction Rebellion demands the Government Tell the Truth about Climate Breakdown, and Acts Now to reduce emissions in line with the scientific information. Failure to do so is criminal.

Senan Clifford – one of the Shell7 activists.