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Climate activists found guilty of disorderly conduct

November 14, 2021 GMT

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Most of the climate activists who held a protest outside J.P. Morgan Chase Bank in Wilmington have been found guilty of disorderly conduct and civil unrest.

The Delaware State News reports that a New Castle County Justice of the Peace on Friday found 11 of 15 activists guilty in the June 28 protest.

For several hours, the group of senior citizens protested on the steps of the building and the sidewalk before some moved to the middle of the street with rocking chairs, sitting in the flow of traffic to direct attention to the climate change crisis and Chase Bank’s funding of fossil fuels.

All of the accused were offered a plea deal of a $10 fine, according to a news release from the Walk for Our Grandchildren movement. Two protesters took the plea deal because they were unable to make the trial. Two others were represented by a lawyer and were acquitted due to lack of evidence against them.

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The 11 who were found guilty were given a $25 fine, plus fees and assessments, which brought their total to $97 each. They all received probation.

Wilmington Police Department Cpl. Israel Santiago said that the defendants’ actions caused “annoyance and alarm.”

Steve Norris, a defendant representing himself, suggested that there are greater disturbances that block traffic unexpectedly and said that the protest was no match for the disturbance that climate change will have if direct action doesn’t happen soon.