From this morning’s Christchurch Press
A judge’s ruling has virtually cleared the way for peaceful property occupations as a form of protest, an activist says.
Two Happy valley Coal Mine protestors who occupied the roof of Solid Energy’s Christchurch office building in February have had charges dismissed.
Christchurch District Court judge, Stephen Erber ruled that they could not be convicted of being unlawfully on the building when they had no intention of committing “any other offence“.
Speaking outside the court, protestor Daniel Rae said “the ruling gave them a lawful way to protest”.
New Zeal Does this mean what I think it means? Does this mean that Solid Energy, or indeed any other property owner cannot charge someone with trespass, unless they somehow know that the intruder intends to commit theft, burglary, rape, vandalism, murder, arson, or some other offence?
If judge Erber finds a man outside his bedroom wind at 3pm one afternoon and the man refuses to leave, what can he do?
Can judge Erber have him charged with trespass without questioning as to his intentions? If he cannot ascertain his intentions can judge Erber have the man removed? Can he have him prosecuted?
I’m no lawyer, but something doesn’t seem right here.