From court this morning: Judge Nicholls apologised directly to Restore Passenger Rail supporter Peter Wham. He did not breach his bail conditions.
Peter was arrested before 2pm yesterday while pasting posters inviting readers to Restore Passenger Rail introductory talks, and instead of being seen in court yesterday, the police detained him overnight in their cells.
Judge Nicholls said the police need to be better informed as he is concerned about a pattern of these arrests occurring. “We should be able to do better” Judge Nicholls said in court today.
“Since we began engaging in our legal right to protest, we have seen a pattern of police overreach, charging us with offences carrying up to 14 years in prison. They have arrested our supporters for supposedly breaching bail by enticing others to break the law. We have seen this argument thrown out of court before. Police have attempted to paint lawful protesters as dangerous criminals, and in some corners of the media there has been rhetoric supporting imprisoning climate protesters and encouraging public violence towards peaceful climate activists.” said spokesperson Rosemary Penwarden.
“We want to make it very clear. Until judged guilty we believe we are on the right side of the law with respect to our peaceful protest actions. We are acting in proportion to the speed and scale of the climate crisis we face. There will be a jury trial in late 2024 to determine if we are correct about that. Until then Restore Passenger Rail supporters must be considered innocent until proven guilty.”
“However, the real criminals continue to roam free, trashing our planet for profit during a cost of living / cost of greed crisis. The evidence is clear, we are headed for the collapse of our society and economy if we don’t reduce emissions now. We are calling on the public to join us in resistance against the loss of everything we love.”