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Minnesota Judge to Allow “Necessity Defense” at Trial of Climate Activists

HeadlineOct 18, 2017
 h18 pipeline protest

And in northern Minnesota, a district court judge in Hubbard County has ruled that he will allow activists to present a so-called necessity defense when they go to trial on charges for turning off valves to an oil pipeline in a direct action protest last year. The activists, who say their decision to break the law was necessitated by the clear and present danger posed by global warming, will be allowed to call expert witnesses on climate change. Among those who may be called are former top NASA climate scientist James Hansen and 350.org founder Bill McKibben, who told the website Common Dreams, “The whole planet will be inside a single courtroom the day this trial begins. It’s a rare chance to explain precisely why we need to act, and act now.”

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