Presbyterian ruling elder at forefront of historic climate action trial
Trial attempts to use unprecedented ‘necessity defense’ for civil disobedience
JANUARY 15, 2016 | Presbyterian News Service
SCOTT O'NEILL | LOUISVILLE
On Sept. 2, 2014 five activists chained themselves to train tracks in Everett, Wash., in an effort stop the transport of oil and coal trains through the Pacific Northwest. One of the five is Abby Brockway, a ruling elder at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church in Seattle. Abby and her colleagues, known as the Delta 5, were arrested for criminal trespassing.
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Climate Activists Who Chained Themselves To Tracks Head To Court
By Ashley Ahearn
kuow.org | January 11, 2015
Five environmental activists who chained themselves to train tracks in Everett to protest oil and coal trains begin trial in Snohomish County District Court on Monday.
The activists face criminal charges alleging they trespassed on BNSF Railway property and blocked an oil train for eight hours on Sept. 2, 2014.
More than 100 people gathered at the Woodland Park Presbyterian Church in Seattle Sunday for a special climate justice service and blessing on the activists, who refer to themselves as the “Delta 5” (after the BNSF Delta railyard in Everett where they erected their human blockade). Several members of the Delta 5 attended the service.
The trial is drawing national attention because it’s believed to be the first allowing a “necessity defense” for climate-related civil disobedience. The judge has ruled that the defendants can argue that their actions were justified because of the threat of climate change.
More about the Delta 5.