March 27, 2018
Contact: Marla Marcum

West Roxbury Judge rules defendants’ civil disobedience actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm in Boston #ClimateTrial

Activists say this is the first time that defendants in a climate disobedience case were found not responsible for any infraction, based on climate necessity.

For more information Contact:

Marla Marcum, Climate Disobedience Center, 781-819-0993, [email protected]

Alice Cherry, Attorney,  Climate Defense Project (847) 859-9572, [email protected]

Josh Raisler Cohn, Co-Coordinator of the Mass Defense Committee of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, 617-431-6626, [email protected]


Boston – Earlier today (March 27) 13 defendants went into Boston’s West Roxbury District courthouse to answer charges related to their arrests as part of a sustained campaign to block construction on the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline that included 198 arrests from October 2015 through September 2016. Although the prosecutor moved to reduce the charges from misdemeanor criminal offenses to civil infractions — the equivalent of a parking ticket, Judge Mary Ann Driscoll allowed each defendant testify briefly on the necessity of their actions.

The defendants collectively presented a powerful and comprehensive argument for why they had a necessity to engage in civil disobedience to stop the imminent local and global harms of this fracked gas pipeline. Following their testimony, the judge ruled that the defendants’ actions were necessary in order prevent a greater harm.

While defendants were still denied a jury trial and the possibility of a full necessity defense, this was the first time (that we know of to date) that defendants were acquitted based on climate necessity.

The audio from official court recordings is available here:

More breaking updates, including interviews with the defendants, photos and videos are available through these websites and social media feeds:



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