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Climate Change Activist Claims She's Allowed To Break The Law Because She's Saving The Planet

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Climate Change Activist Claims She's Allowed To Break The Law Because She's Saving The Planet

The law is there to keep people safe, make sure everyone is doing the right thing and applies to the richest person down to the poorest.

However there are loopholes in these laws can allow for someone to get away with a potential crime.

That's what Emma Dorge is hoping to prove after appearing in court charged with traffic offences for blocking Brisbane streets during a climate change protest.

When she and three other demonstrators went before a magistrate yesterday, they invoked the extraordinary emergency defence.

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Credit: Extinction Rebellion
Credit: Extinction Rebellion

It's an unusual defence however it simply means you did what you did because you there was an 'extraordinary emergency'. Emma argues that the planet is in such a dire position, an emergency if you will, that she had no choice but to protest last month.

According to the ABC, the extraordinary emergency defence has been used successfully in courtrooms around the world, however never in Australia.

Climate change activists won a hearing in 2008 in the UK after Greenpeace activists scaled the chimney of a power station and painted graffiti on it.

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If the defence gets accepted by the magistrate, it could set a daring legal precedent in Australia.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Emma has told The Signal: "I'm pleading not guilty on the basis of the extraordinary emergency defence, which basically allows for people breaking the law in an extraordinary emergency.

"We're in the midst of a crisis and that's the climate crisis, we believe we've essentially been forced to break the law to avert a far more catastrophic outcome."

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It'll be tough to get a win in a courtroom because the defence is meant to show that a person simply had to do what they did in an emergency. Marching through the streets because the 'planet is dying' will be pretty hard to argue.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Emma was one of 70 people arrested last month when Extinction Rebellion organised a rally through Brisbane to raise awareness about climate change.

Ms Dorge continued that they want the rest of Australia to wake up and take notice.

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"Signing a petition or making a phone call does not force action to happen," she said.

"But taking to the streets and sitting down and not moving, once you get that mass of people, business as usual can not continue and Brisbane can't continue to function as a city. Politicians will be forced to listen to us and to act."

Her case will be back before the court next month.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: climate change, News, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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