In 2007 the 'Kingsnorth Six' Greenpeace volunteers entered Kingsnorth coal-fired power station in Kent before scaling the chimney, closing the station and painting Gordon Brown's name down the smokestack. Last September they faced a charge of criminal damage at Maidstone crown court.
In court they argued their actions were lawful because they were acting to protect property around the world from climate change, and could therefore rely on section 36 of the Criminal Damage Act, which provides for a ‘lawful excuse' to damage property in narrowly defined circumstances. The jury decided their actions were justified in the light of the huge and imminent threat posed by climate change and the enormous CO2 emissions from Kingsnorth power station.
The British Government is now seeking to significantly weaken the power of juries in cases involving climate change protesters. Read more here on the Greenpeace website.