Defendants charged with wilful obstruction of highway after they blocked traffic in city centre
Thu 3 Jan 2019
A group of environmental activists have appeared in court after they were arrested at a Extinction Rebellion protest in Manchester last year.
The eight environmental activists were charged with wilful obstruction of the highway after they blocked traffic for 80 minutes by sitting down at the junction of Oxford Road in the city centre on 24 November 2018.
During the protest, the defendants briefly stood up to allow an ambulance to pass through the road. They pleaded not guilty at Manchester magistrates court on Thursday morning.
The defendants, who were all in attendance, are Stephanie Luckman, 20, from Leeds; Mina Jaff, 21, from Leeds; Pernina Jacobs, 21, from Lancaster; Ceri-Beth Miseroy, 20, from Manchester; Anna Oakes-Monger, 23, from Lancaster; Jeremy Harrison, 55, from Manchester; Elizabeth Haughton, 23, from Manchester and Adam Haigh, 19, from Manchester.
The defence solicitor Carol Mellor said that while the defendants did not dispute they had blocked a public highway, they believed their actions were in line with their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association under the Human Rights Act.
She added: “Part of their argument is that this is necessary to bring people’s attention to climate change.”