A Jewish protester was among a trio of activists who glued themselves to a building used by a “murderous” coal company convicted of criminal damage.
Shulamit Morris-Evans, 23, Angela Ditchfield 41, and Amy Pritchard, 34, superglued their hands to entry gates in an office building being temporarily used by Global Coal Management (GCM).
Appearing at City of London Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, they argued that they protested in a proportionate way against the company due to GCM’s plan to build a coal mine in Bangladesh which could displace hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people as well as adding to pollution.
Morris-Evans, who is a member of Extinction Rebellion, told the court the protest was not reckless as they only aimed to disrupt the meeting of GCM shareholders and did not think it would cause damage to the turnstiles.
She added: “At the point of crisis that we are in, the people who are carrying on with this murderous kind of madness to carry on building and extracting fossil fuels are essentially passing death sentences on many people.”
Deputy District Judge Paul Booty found all three women guilty of criminal damage, after additional charges of trespass were dropped mid-trial.
In his findings he said: “The act of glueing oneself to an object was thought through and the possibility of damage could not have slipped your minds, therefore such an act was reckless.
“Whilst raising the profile of the issue, it does not do anything to reduce the risk.
“I cannot accept that this action was necessary. The threat posed is simply not immediate.”
Judge Booty gave all three women a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered them to pay £350 each in court costs.
No compensation was ordered but the defendants will pay a £20 victim surcharge.
Sentencing the women, Judge Booty said: “While I understand your motives for what you were doing, I cannot condone those acts and it is sad as a result of those acts you have all lost your good names.”
Morris-Evans told the Press Association: “I remain firm in my belief that the criminals in this situation, if there are any, are the company who are continuing to pursue a project that involves creating new fossil fuel infrastructure at a time where we know that we are at a pitch of crisis engendered by fossil fuels.”