Conspiracy To Commit £581,000 Of Damage At Arla : Supporters Of Animal Rebellion Plead Not Guilty
Today (20/1/23) at St Albans Magistrates Court, 13 people pleaded not guilty to the charge of ‘Conspiracy To Commit Criminal Damage Over The Value Of £5000’ with the damage itself valued at almost £600,000 according to a statement given by Melanie Savage (Head of the warehouse).
The charges relate to actions taken at Arla Dairy distribution center in Hatfield in September 2022 where all milk trucks at the facility were immobilised and the facility occupied, later resulting in empty milk shelves in London, claimed the group .
The group will next appear at St Albans Crown Court on 22/2/23, as confirmed by legal representatives Rhona Friedman (of Commons) and Maria Liddiard.
At 10:00 on 7/09/2022, a group of Animal Rebellion supporters entered Arla Hatfield, breaking a high court injunction. They immobilised milk trucks on the site by drilling into, and cutting the pressure valves of 443 tyres before climbing onto the trucks, whilst unfurling banners reading “plant-based future”, to occupy the facility.
Lucia Alexander, 39, an auxiliary nurse, and one of those in court today, said this before the hearing:
“We live under a corrupt government who endangers citizens and the planet by heavily subsidising destructive industries. Animal farming and fishing have proven to be one of the key drivers of the climate and ecological crisis.
When I learned about the destruction of nature, human and nonhuman life caused by our archaic food system I knew I could not be a bystander. We have the solutions and we need to act. If we support farmers in a transition to a plant-based future, we can restore nature and create a safe future for everyone. It's a win-win solution.”
Individuals involved appeared today at St Albans Magistrates court charged with a conspiracy to commit criminal damage. All 13 entered a preliminary plea of not guilty. The charges which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment will now be heard at Crown Court.
This action, from the non-violent protest group Animal Rebellion, came as part of a week-long campaign to call on the government to support farmers in transitioning to a plant-based food system and rewilding the freed-up land, estimated at 76% of current global farmland according to Oxford University researchers .
The action was part of Animal Rebellion’s demands for a plant-based future. The animal and climate justice group is urging wholesale governmental and societal support for farmers and fishing communities to transition to a plant-based food system and programme of rewilding that will secure a future for generations to come.
Animal Rebellion is a mass movement using nonviolent civil disobedience to call for a just, sustainable plant-based food system.
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Notes To Editors:
 https://www.plantbasedfuture.animalrebellion.org/post/liz-truss-pressured-supporters-of-animal-rebellion-shut-down-2-dairy-distribution-centres and https://www.plantbasedfuture.animalrebellion.org/post/empty-milk-shelves-in-london-animal-rebellion-has-stopped-the-supply-of-dairy