Police ask for ID of the environmental activists from groups including Greenpeace that were blocking the Pernis Shell harbour with kayakers and a boat to protest against

Greenpeace, Texas prosecutor settle charges in 2019 climate protest

HOUSTON, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Environmental activists who shut the biggest U.S. power export port for a day to protest climate change agreed to pay police, fireplace and court docket prices to settle state legal charges, officers mentioned on Friday.

Greenpeace members halted transport in September 2019 by dangling on ropes from a bridge over the Houston Ship Channel, an effort to strain political leaders throughout a presidential debate in town.

Mike Herbert, 36-year-old protester who took half in the demonstration, beforehand informed Reuters that the group needed to “force the hand of the political hopefuls to address the elephant in the room: climate change.”

Felony charges of disrupting essential power infrastructure were later dismissed by a Houston grand jury. The state pursued lesser charges of obstructing a freeway in opposition to 25 Greenpeace members concerned in the protest.

The settlement requires charges to be dismissed in opposition to the 25 in six months if there are not any additional violations. Members of the group additionally agreed to pay $250 in court docket prices to settle the state freeway obstruction charges.

Settlement talks on separate federal charges of blocking a waterway levied in opposition to the activists are underway, a Greenpeace spokesperson mentioned. “We are very optimistic about its resolution in the near future,” mentioned spokesperson Valentina Stackl.

The U.S. legal professional’s workplace for the Southern District of Texas didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Greenpeace paid $58,450 in restitution to native police and fireplace departments that retrieved the protesters and their banners from the bridge.

“They wasted the time of cops and firefighters, who probably may have been used to answer actual emergencies,” Harris County District Lawyer Kim Ogg mentioned.

The protesters accepted the state’s pre-trial intervention settlement with out getting into a responsible plea, and the group was not charged, Stackl mentioned.

Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Modifying by David Gregorio and Aurora Ellis

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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