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11 May, 2021 10:54

Extinction Rebellion trial delayed after defendant dons pink eye mask & GLUES HIMSELF to courtroom table (VIDEO)

Extinction Rebellion trial delayed after defendant dons pink eye mask & GLUES HIMSELF to courtroom table (VIDEO)

The trial of climate change activists accused of blocking a roadway last year in Hertfordshire took an unexpected turn, after one of the defendants glued his hand to the dock and began lecturing the presiding judge.

Liam Norton and five other Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists have been charged with using vehicles and large bamboo structures to obstruct roads near the Newsprinters printing works in Broxbourne in September. The disruptive protest halted the delivery of an estimated 3.5 million copies of newspapers. The Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and the Times are all printed at the site. XR UK defended the civil disobedience, accusing the press of dividing and distracting people during a “climate emergency”. Extinction Rebellion said it had specifically targeted Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers because they were “polluting the national debate on climate change” and obfuscating other important issues, such as the refugee crisis.

At the opening of the case at St Albans Magistrates’ Court, the 36-year-old put on a pink eye mask and began filming the proceedings on his iPhone. 

“I would like to make clear that what’s going on in this courtroom today is completely absurd,” he said. 

District Judge Sally Fudge called for his phone to be confiscated, to which Norton responded that it was glued to his hand. He had apparently glued his other hand to the table at which he was sitting, for good measure. 

Despite protests from the judge, the activist continued with his speech, claiming he was compelled to disobey the court due to “decades” of “organised criminality in this country”. 

He further accused the UK government of showing “contempt for the planet”, and challenged the judge and prosecutors to stop serving and defending “criminality”

After Norton had lectured the courtroom for about a minute and a half, a security guard appeared. Moments later, the phone was knocked from his hand, suggesting the glue had either not been very effective, or was non-existent. 

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The adhesive he had used to bind himself to the table seemed to have done a better job. According to the BBC, it took police two hours to remove him before the trial could continue. 

The judge later condemned Norton for his “particularly disruptive” behavior and expressed her concern that he would likely try to halt proceedings again were he allowed back in court.

XR activists are known for their theatrical stunts, but they are usually staged outside the courtroom. Last week, a dozen Extinction Rebellion members chained themselves to the gates of France’s National Assembly in Paris, ahead of the approval of new climate legislation. Police later intervened and hauled the protesters away. 

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