The Flood Wall Street 10 make history

the sit-down protest by the Flood Wall Street gang on 9/22. A judge found them not guilty, but also acknowledged that climate change is a serious problem (while rejecting their Necessity defense). Picture from Common Dreams, creative commons.

A month or so ago, I wrote about the Flood Wall Street defendants. They were facing felony charges for sitting in the street to protest Wall Street’s complicity in global climate warming (the banksters fund the projects that cause deforestation and pollution from unattended oil spills).

Not anymore. A judge cleared them of charges last week, finding with the defense that the NYPD had made procedural errors in the arrests. The defendants also employed a necessity defense–that didn’t fly.

Judge Mandelbaum shut down the necessity defense early on, even while conceding the defendants had grounds for concern. “Climate change is a grave problem, I have no doubt about it,” Mandelbaum said from the bench on Monday — a stance he reiterated often throughout the four day trial. Yet, global warming remains “too vague and abstract” a threat for the necessity defense to apply.

In other words, while a member of the judiciary has finally admitted there’s an existential crisis at hand over climate change, don’t expect future judges to cut defendants any slack.  While the use of a necessity defense (and the judge’s statements) now set a precedent with such protests, the chances are pretty good that future prosecutors will fall to their favorite trial tactic–the Motion In Limine, which I explained in other articles about such trials (that you can find here) (and here).

So we celebrate the victory of the Flood 10 (formerly the Flood 12). Good for you. You done good.

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