Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has been cleared of charges related to obstructing a highway and public order violation following highly-publicized anti-fracking demonstrations.
However, she remained adamant, saying: “The action we took was for all of our futures” as she pledged to continue to fight against fracking. Lucas was found not guilty of the two counts she was facing: breaching an order as per section 14 of the Public Order Act and wilful obstruction of a public highway.
District Judge Tim Pattinson in his ruling said that the prosecution failed to convince him that Lucas possessed “the requisite knowledge” that Section 14 order was in place. Lucas, who represents Brighton Pavilion, joined other protesters who gathered outside the exploratory site of Cuadrilla oil firm in Balcombe, West Sussex last August, according to Guardian.
In the trial conducted at Brighton magistrates court, together with four co-defendants, Lucas said she intended to “express solidarity” by demonstrating peacefully.
Speaking to the press moments after the ruling, Lucas quipped: “We are very pleased that the court upheld our right to peacefully protest against fracking. Protest is the lifeblood of democracy.
We are deeply concerned that the right to protest is being eroded and undermined, with legitimate protest criminalised by oppressive policing in an attempt to silence dissent.
“This judgment is right but is not a cause for celebration. We will continue to campaign to end fracking and only celebrate when our world is on the path of a clean energy future.”
While Cuadrilla didn’t frack the Balcombe site, the protestors formed a huge camp close to the entrance to the site, fearing that the company would do so. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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