Environment Media release

News release: Crown dismisses charge for first XR #BridgeOut arrestee


K’JIPUKTUK/HALIFAX – On Wednesday February 19th, Erich Burton, an arrestee from the Extinction Rebellion #BridgeOut action in October, arrived at the Halifax Court House flanked by supporters to plead not guilty by reason of necessity. The crown however opted simply to dismiss the case. Burton’s charge has been dropped and he will not have to pay the $247 fine for failure to leave private property when instructed to do so.

Speaking after the dismissal, Burton stated, “I am grateful for my acquittal today and I stand by my right to peaceful assembly in direct action. Concerned citizens must bring attention to the corporate and government crimes against humanity and the environment that continuously threaten marginalized communities and contribute to runaway climate change that threatens us all. We have already emitted more than a safe amount of carbon into the atmosphere, now at over 400 ppm, and only have a few short years to rapidly reduce emissions.
We need to remember our common needs as living beings on earth and cooperate at all levels of government and society, in citizens assemblies, to legislate an industrial and political transition to a net-zero economy that is based on ecological and social rights and consent by 2025. Tell the Truth, Act Now.”

Other #BridgeOut arrestees have scattered courts date starting from 6pm on March 23rd and extending into May.

While the Federal and Provincial governments have both acknowledged the climate crisis as an emergency, action to address the crisis has been tepid at best. At the same time, both levels of government continue to threaten people and planet with senseless and destructive fossil fuel megaprojects, like Coastal GasLink, TransMountain and closer to home, Alton Gas. XR member Patrick Yancey added, “If they want to signal that they understand the crisis and are willing to protect our lives and livelihoods, they would start by cancelling these projects and respecting UNDRIP.”

Extinction Rebellion, founded in the fall of 2018 and now active in over 70 countries around world, is calling on key decision-makers in politics, business and the media to acknowledge and act on the climate crisis. They demand a drawdown of greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2025 and a citizens’ assembly to oversee a rapid transition to a thriving green economy that is fair to Indigenous peoples, other marginalised groups and transitioning workers.