There were 57 XR Peace Rebels arrested in the 2 weeks from 7th October 2019. Most are ‘under investigation’ but some arrestees have been given dates to attend Westminster Magistrates Court for their plea hearings. And one person has already pleaded Guilty and had fines imposed. To keep you informed we will specify the outcomes of the trials as soon as we know about them, giving some background and information so you understand the context. The fines can increase rapidly if you have many previous convictions but can be quite low for a first offence. Breaking a conditional discharge can impose further fines.
Angie Zelter was arrested for the 2nd time (the 1st is still under investigation) on Tuesday 8th October blockading the Ministry of Defence at the Whitehall entrance. She was charged with failing to comply with a public assembly condition. She had been held over 2 nights and taken to court on Thursday 10th October and in order to return to the Rebellion with no bail conditions she pleaded guilty. Angie has a very long record of previous convictions totalling around 40 and due to her breach of a 9 month conditional discharge (from the April rebellion when she was found guilty after her trial) she was fined £460, victim surcharge of £46 and costs of £85 – totalling £591.
Angie Zelter was arrested for the 5th time on Friday 18th October for blockading Oxford Circus and super-gluing onto the bamboo structure there. She was held overnight and came to court on the Saturday charged with failure to comply with S14 and with conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. In order to get to a conference where she was to run a workshop she pleaded guilty. The same Judge was sitting who had seen her for the April case and also for the previous guilty plea given on 10th October. Therefore she was given a fine of £660 for the current offence, a fine of £440 for another breach of the conditional discharge, victim surcharge of £66 and court costs of £85, totalling £1,251.
There have been some interesting legal proceedings following the High Court ruling on 6th November 2020: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Jones-Ors-v-Comm-of-Police-Approved-judgment.pdf
Extinction Rebellion won their High Court challenge against the Metropolitan Police over the London wide ban on protests in October. The ruling stated that:
“Separate gatherings, separated both in time and by many miles, even if co-ordinated under the umbrella of one body, are not a public assembly within the meaning of … the Act…..The XR Autumn Uprising intended to be held from October 14 to 19 was not therefore a public assembly … therefore the decision to impose the condition was unlawful because there was no power to impose it under … the Act.“
Thus some of us have received letters from the courts saying that our cases have been dropped and some cases that were tried during the Rebellion have now been re-opened, the charges and the convictions and sentences set aside. So far, one fine has been repaid – this was the £1,251 fine for the Oxford Circus case against Angie. It was repaid on 28th January 2020.
Some charges from October 2019 are being changed from S.14 charges to Highway Obstruction. We will keep you updated. If you have any changes to charges or fines being re-paid please keep us updated by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org