Marlborough’s Jo Ripley, Extinction Rebellion and climate activist was arrested in Parliament Square last September spending a night in Bromley Police Station, having been previously arrested in Whitehall fifteen months ago and held overnight in Brixton Police Station.
But Jo was let off with a Conditional Discharge at the City of London Magistrate Courts for the Parliament Square arrest ‘taking part in a public assembly and knowingly failing to comply with a condition imposed by a senior police officer etc. – so taking part in a public assembly in a prohibited area (Parliament Square)’ as she decribed.
“I chose to plead guilty to the specific offence (and not to go in person because of lock-down) but submitted a statement of Mitigating Circumstances as to why I did not think my action was wrong. The court found me guilty but gave me a conditional discharge and, as long as I do not commit an offence during the next 6 months, I will not be punished. So I think the Magistrate/s must have been in agreement with my justification” (stated below):
“I do not willingly choose to break the law but the overriding concern about the unfolding climate and biodiversity emergency has brought me to be part of Extinction Rebellion activities to help raise the alarm for the urgent need for meaningful action. We face an incredibly unstable future as stated by Professor Pavel Kabat, Chief Scientist at the World Meteorological Organization: “Climate change has a multitude of security impacts – rolling back the gains in nutrition and access to food; heightening the risk of wildfires and exacerbating air quality challenges; increasing the potential for water conflict; leading to more internal displacement and migration. It is increasingly regarded as a national security threat.”
Jo added “Finally, I would like to put on record my appreciation for the civilised manner in which my arrest and the subsequent police processing took place.”