Student protestor arrested last September found not guilty

0

FULL ARTICLE

On 28th of September last year, student Robin Boardman was arrested alongside another student for putting chalk spray on the wall of Barclays Banks. At his trial today he was found 'not guilty'.

The other student was ‘de-arrested’ moments after their arrest. Robin spent the next 5 hours in police custody and was charged with criminal damage.

Robin's action was in protest against Barclays Bank’s massive investments in the fossil fuel industry such as coal, where their investments increased from $585m in 2015 to $982m in 2016, despite signing the Paris Accord.

After a two hour trial, Robin Boardman was found ‘not guilty’ by the magistrates.

Speaking after the court hearing, Cllr Denyer said:

'I was delighted to support Robin at his court hearing today, both as his local councillor and as a fellow fossil fuel divestment campaigner, and it’s a big relief that common sense has prevailed with Robin being found ‘not guilty'.

The peaceful protest that he took part in drew attention – rightly, in my view – to the unethical investment practices of Barclay’s Bank, which is both profiting from and fuelling a growing global climate crisis.

Robin used washable chalk to avoid causing lasting damage, and in my opinion this charge was an overreaction and an attempt to stifle legitimate protest. It should have never gone to court.'

The Magistrates found that Mr.Boardman was innocent for reasons of lawful excuse and for his previous good character.

His local ward councillors for Clifton Down, Carla Denyer and Clive Stevens from the Green Party, alongside some Robin’s University friends attended the hearing and celebrated with him outside afterwards.

This year the Bank increased its investments in all extreme fossil fuel infrastructure to $3.642 billion.

Chalk spray actions against Barclays have been occurring across the country in protest against Barclays’ investments in the fracking and fossil fuel industry.

Groups such as ‘TagABarclays’ have appeared on Facebook to share such actions. The vast majority of these actions no do not result in arrest.

Robin’s action was part of a nationwide student protest called, #DivestBarclays, which aims to get Universities to stop banking with Barclays.

The University of Bristol has ties with Barclays including over £240m in loans, and Barclays features on the campus at careers services despite their massive investments in fossil fuel.

The University itself has recently promised to completely divest from Fossil Fuels by 2020 but has refused to cut any of its ties with the bank.

Green Councillors Carla Denyer and Clive Stevens (Clifton Down ward) attended the court hearing of Robin Boardman, a Bristol student who was arrested for putting chalk spray on the wall of Barclays Bank on Queens Road as a protest against the bank’s investments in the fossil fuel industry.

After a two hour trial, Robin Boardman was found ‘not guilty’ by the magistrates.

The peaceful protest that he took part in drew attention – rightly, in my view – to the unethical investment practices of Barclay’s Bank, which is both profiting from and fuelling a growing global climate crisis. Robin used washable chalk to avoid causing lasting damage, and in my opinion this charge was an overreaction and an attempt to stifle legitimate protest. It should have never gone to court.”

Featured image credit: Robin Boardman

Robin Boardman and supporters celebrate the verdict of not guilty. Second from left: Cllr Carla Denyer; third from left: Robin Boardman; third from right: Cllr Clive Stevens.


Get in touch via social media: Facebook/Epigram/Twitter

AUTHOR

Nikki Peach

Deputy Editor 2018/19, formerly News Editor 2017/18 / Third-year English student

COMMENTS