Seven Extinction Rebellion activists have been convicted of occupying an oil rig at the Port of Dundee.
The group’s actions were in a bid to stop the rig leaving to carry out work for Shell in the North Sea.
Reports have now been ordered for the seven activists after they pleaded guilty to committing a breach of the peace at the port.
Federico Pastoris, 25, Mark Quinn, 23, 24-year-old Marco Tenconi, Guy Bowen, 32, 28-year-old Alison Orr, Joanne Venables, 36, and Fiona Cormie, 27, are due to be sentenced next month.
‘Staff concerned for protestors safety’
Dundee Sheriff Court heard how the deputy port manager became aware of the activists using an inflatable boat to access the rig.
Fiscal depute Emily Hood said: “He witnessed all of the accused there and struggling to stand on the boat.
“Given the harsh conditions of the weather, he was concerned for their safety and the Coastguard was contacted.
“A short time later, Cormie, Venables and Orr gained access and climbed the leg of the rig.”
The boat carrying the rest of the activists returned to shore and they were arrested by police.
Cormie, Venables and Orr climbed up to the 300ft-high platform and remained there for around four hours.
Deteriorating weather caused them to descend and they were later arrested.
Pastoris and Tenconi, both of Marchmont Place, Edinburgh; Quinn, of Hammerfield Avenue, Aberdeen; Bowen, of Church Lane, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex; Orr, of Blackness Avenue, Dundee; Venables, of Hartington Pace, Edinburgh; and Cormie, of Balbair Road, Nairn, were all absent from court but had pleas of guilty tendered on their behalf.
They admitted conducting themselves in a disorderly manner on January 6 2020 by navigating the River Tay on an inflatable boat when it was unsafe, boarding or assisting others to board a platform without authority, refusing to leave, attaching themselves to a platform several hundred feet in the air, remaining there for a number of hours, placing themselves in danger and causing disruption and inconvenience to other harbour users.
Protestors ‘very, very community conscious’
Extinction Rebellion had previously said its activists intended to stay on the rig “for as long as possible” in order to halt the rig’s “extractive and destructive operations”.
Defence solicitor Jim Brady, representing all apart from Bowen, said: “There were great efforts on the part of these young people to ensure both their own safety and the safety of others.
“These young people are very, very community conscious individuals and spent a lot of time working in the community have done a lot of voluntary work.”
Sheriff Alison Michie called for social work reports ahead of sentencing all seven and ordered them to appear personally in court next month.