Description: Charges of disorderly conduct against pipeline protesters who asserted a justification defense.
People of New York v. Bucci
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 12/01/2016 Decision Decision, verdict, and order issued finding defendants guilty. New York Court Rejected Pipeline Protesters’ Justification Defense. A New York Justice Court found nine protesters who blocked the driveway of a parking lot used by workers constructing a natural gas pipeline project guilty of disorderly conduct. The court rejected the protesters’ “justification” defense, finding that their conduct was not “necessary” to avoid “imminent” injury to the public. The court said that the defendants—who said they believed the pipeline project was dangerous and/or harmful to the environment, with most of them citing climate change—had based their defense “primarily on subjective and speculative personal views and opinions.” The court also rejected a First Amendment defense, saying that the defendants were offered opportunities to continue their protests “if only they would move a few feet either to the north or to the south along the sidewalk rather than blocking vehicular traffic in and out of the driveways.”