Suffolk Green councillor to face trial over climate change protests
A Suffolk Green Party district councillor has appeared in court charged in relation to Extinction Rebellion protests in London earlier this year.
Mid Suffolk district councillor Terence Carter, who stood as the Green Party candidate for the role of Suffolk's police and crime commissioner in 2016, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Friday.
Carter is charged with failing to comply with conditions laid down in Section 14 of the Public Order Act following the protests in Oxford Circus, London, on April 20.
He pleaded not guilty and will appear at City of London Magistrates' Court on January 8 next year.
Mid Suffolk Green Party councillors expressed their "support and solidarity" with Carter, who was first elected for the Stow Thorney ward this year and is a reserve on the Suffolk police and crime panel.
Councillor John Matthissen said: "Our council has declared a climate emergency as has Parliament but neither the Government nor councils are responding fast enough.
"Sometimes non-violent direction actions speak louder than words."
More than 80 people went before judges across London charged in relation with the April protests.
Speaking last week, Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP, defended those facing court for their part in the protests.
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She said: "In the future, it won't be those peacefully blockading bridges or blocking roads that history judges badly.
"It will be those who shut their eyes and blocked their ears. The failure to avert the climate catastrophe is the greatest moral failure of our time and people from all generations and all walks of life have had enough of those with power failing to act.
"The brave XR activists taking nonviolent action to protect the planet on which we all depend for our survival shouldn't be arrested and charged.
"They should be applauded and they should be heard."
Yesterday, Extinction Rebellion protesters glued themselves to buildings after being warned they face arrest on the second day of their international action.
Climate change activists told police they were prepared to be taken into custody for failing to comply with orders to move their protest to a single site at Trafalgar Square.
Police handed out notices across Westminster on Tuesday morning, where campaigners kept an overnight vigil, in an attempt to reduce the disruption in the capital and concentrate the action on one area.
However, protesters glued themselves to the Department for Transport building and to the underside of a lorry outside the Home Office in defiance of the notices.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed 471 arrests have been made over two days in relation to the latest protests.
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