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Minnesota court allows pipeline protesters to mount unusual defense

Four protesters can present an unusual “necessity defense” against criminal charges stemming from efforts to shut down two Enbridge Energy oil pipelines, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein acknowledge that they turned the emergency shut-off valves on two pipelines on Oct. 11, 2016, in Clearwater County of northwestern Minnesota. It was part of a coordinated action by Climate Direct Action activists to shut down five pipelines that carry tar sands crude from Canada to the Unites States in Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana and Washington state. A total of 11 activists were charged.


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