Jury convicts environmental protesters over Canary Wharf train stunt

The Canary

Three Extinction Rebellion protesters who glued themselves to a train have been found guilty “with regret” by a jury in the first crown court trial linked to the environmental demonstrations.

Cathy Eastburn, 52, Mark Ovland, 36, and Luke Watson, 30, were convicted at Inner London Crown Court after halting Docklands Light Railway services at Canary Wharf station.

The trio denied the charges of obstructing a railway on 17 April, saying the stunt was justified because of the threat of the climate crisis.

Extinction Rebellion protest
The trio had claimed their actions were justified due to the threat posed by climate change (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Watson and Eastburn both climbed on top of the train carriage and glued their hands to the roof, while Ovland glued his hands to the side.

After one hour of deliberations, the jury unanimously found the defendants guilty on 18 December, but the foreman added it was “with regret”.

Extinction Rebellion (XR), an activist group whose protesters are urging government action on the climate crisis, claims the trial was the first to be dealt with by a crown court as opposed to a magistrates’ Court.

Environment protest
Police attended the scene at the east London station in April (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The trio were released on unconditional bail and will be sentenced by Judge Silas Reid at the same court on 19 December.

They were arrested during two weeks of demonstrations in London organised by the campaign group.

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us