Description: Prosecution of activists who protested the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts v. West Roxbury Protesters
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/27/2018 Verdict Defendants acquitted on basis of necessity defense. Massachusetts Court Acquitted Pipeline Protesters by Reason of Necessity. The Climate Disobedience Center announced on March 27, 2018 that a Massachusetts district court had acquitted—based on a necessity defense—13 defendants arrested in 2016 while protesting the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline. The Climate Defense Project, one of the organizations whose attorneys represented the defendants, said the defense had prepared for a full trial in which they would mount a climate necessity defense—relying on experts including climate scientist James Hansen and the founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben—but that the prosecutor had reduced charges of trespass and disorderly conduct to civil infractions that did not require a trial. The Climate Disobedience Center said the judge nevertheless allowed each defendant to testify regarding the necessity of their actions. The Center has posted the official court audio here.