Trinity lawn-diggers return to scene on day of court hearing

On the first day of their court hearing, the ‘rebels’ returned to Trinity to give speeches and continue campaigning

Four members of XR Cambridge who were arrested whilst digging up Trinity College’s lawn in February returned to the College today, on the day of their first court hearing, to deliver “a series of rousing speeches” and continue campaigning against Trinity’s investments in fossil fuel companies.

According to XR’s press release, “Extinction Rebellion Cambridge has previously underestimated the college’s fossil-fuel investments, citing the figure of £9 million. However, the group has since learned that this did not account for the College’s investments in fossil-fuel refinement and oil tech companies, which puts the total at a staggering £16 million.”

With regard to this previous estimate XR have stated that “the arrestees apologised for this oversight – but not digging up the lawn.”

According to Cambridgeshire Live’s court updates, the activists appeared in front of county magistrates this morning on charges including criminal damage and aggravated trespass. During the court hearing, the cost to Trinity College was evaluated at £4,365, “portioned up as £198 per person seen to be involved.”

The court hearing comes in the midst of further “non-violent” actions carried out by the group against the University, including the graffitiing University campus sites, a game of croquet on the Senate house lawn, and activists standing nude outside King’s College. XR Cambridge are committed to continuing their campaigns against the University and its colleges, as the University has not openly committed to fully divesting from fossil fuels companies.

One of the arrested lawn-diggers conceded that their actions in February sparked shock and outrage amongst many, but said: “We would ask you to contrast that to the damage we are trying to prevent, the damage being done to our beloved planet by fossil fuel emissions supported by this college.

“We would ask you to think on where your shock and outrage truly belong.”

Following their speeches, the “rebels then gave the Trinity College porters wildflower seeds, after commenting that the College seemed to be finding it difficult to reseed their lawn, which it has now stripped completely bare” XR Cambridge said.

The arrestees were accompanied to Trinity College by other members of Extinction Rebellion Cambridge, “who came along with banner bearing slogans including ‘Divest now! No more excuses,, and ‘System change, not climate change’ among others.”

Feature image credit: Extinction Rebellion Cambridge