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Greenpeace activists cleared of damaging UK power plant

The court ruled that, by shutting down the plant, the activists were preventing greater property damage from climate change.

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The jury – nine men and three women – found the testimony compelling, and found the six activists not guilty.

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Greenpeace is delighted at the ruling. "This verdict marks a tipping point for the climate change movement," said Ben Stewart, one of the six defendants, as reported by Reuters:

"If jurors from the heart of Middle England say it's legitimate for a direct action group to shut down a coal-fired power station because of the harm it does to our planet, then where does that leave government energy policy?
"We have the clean technologies at hand to power our economy, it's time we turned to them instead of coal."

Emily Highmore, a spokeswoman for E.ON, the German energy firm that operates the plant, told the BBC that she was less than thrilled at the outcome.

She said: "We respect people's right to protest, but what Greenpeace did was hugely irresponsible. It put people's lives at risk and that is clearly completely unacceptable."
Ms Highmore called for an "open and honest debate" about the challenges of energy and climate change, but added: "That's a debate that shouldn't be taking place at the top of a chimney stack."

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