Heathrow 13: climate change protesters avoid jail

Six women and seven men have avoided jail for trespassing at Heathrow, following a protest against the possible expansion of the airport. The activists were given sentences of six weeks suspended for 12 months.

Kirsty Brimelow QC, of Doughty Chambers, who represented four of the defendants, described all 13 as professional, qualified individuals who were “not fanciful or frivolous”, but instead “people who have real conscience who care about the planet and the human beings on the planet”. Kirsty said all 13 had acted in the public interest and felt that all other avenues of protest had been exhausted. She said there was no evidence anyone was endangered by the protest, that the activists had taken steps to alert the police and had caused “minimal effect” on the airport.

 

Kirsty Brimelow QC, told Willesden Magistrates Court the defendants believed they had been "acting in the public interest" and highlighted what she called a "hard-fought for" tradition of civil disobedience.  Kirsty said: "We have come a long way since the days of the suffragettes, since those people would have been locked up and treated appallingly." She said the last time someone was sent to prison for environmental protest was over the Kinder Scout mass trespass in 1932.

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