Climate Mock Trial: Valve Turner Leonard Higgins argues the Climate Necessity Defense

Three days before his trial begins in Fort Benton, Leonard Higgins presented his full climate necessity defense, with real expert witnesses, an acting judge, prosecutor and lawyers in front of a live audience at the University of Montana in Missoula on Saturday November 18th. 


Climate Mock Trial: Valve Turner Leonard Higgins argues the Climate Necessity Defense


Saturday November 18th - three days before he is tried by the State of Montana - Leonard Higgins will stand for a Mock Trial at the University of Montana, Missoula. Denied by the state the opportunity to present the necessity defense, Leonard Higgins will present his climate change case to the Court of Public Opinion.

WHAT: A magnificent production of Story: Leonard Higgins, retired state employee who closed the valve on Spectra’s Express Pipeline on a snowy morning in October 2016. Humor: Behold the spectacle of international renowned climate activists producing a play. The deadly Seriousness of Climate Cataclysm: wild fires and melting glaciers in Montana, hurricanes and drought around the globe. And the Necessity: acting like there is an emergency and taking direct action is the only reasonable response in a world of denial.

WHO: The defense is prepared to call, for the defense of the planet, the following expert witnesses: University of Montana climate scientist Professor Steve Running, civil disobedience expert Tom Hastings, and climate change and US secruity expert Andrew Holland. With presiding judge Bob Gentry, defense attorney Arnold Schroder, and additional support roles by Jeff Smith (350 Montana) and valve turners Michael Foster and Ken Ward. And YOU the Jury!

WHEN: Saturday, November 18th - 7pm Mountain Time (6pm PST)

WHERE: Live Online and at the University Center Theater at the University of Montana

Register today to join the live broadcast from the comfort of your own home.



MT #Climate Trial Logistics

This post should tell you everything you need to know about the logistics of attending Leonard Higgins’ Valve Turner trial in Montana. Please encourage others to sign up on the Montana RSVP for trial logistics and updates throughout.

This week we found that we have the historic opportunity to argue the necessity defense in Minnesota! Since we don’t have that opportunity in Montana, we are holding two trials! The first one will be an incredible in-depth look at the justification for action in these times of crises, with expert witnesses and real lawyers arguing before a “judge”, the second one will be Leonard’s actual trial. Check out Leonard's Fair Hearing by the Commons and the Montana #ClimateTrial event pages, and more info below.

See all the plans, ways to travel, sleep, and contribute in person and from afar...

Read more

Welcome to the Montana Trial Liveblog

Hi All! We are gearing up for the next valve turner trial: Leonard Higgins' trial in Fort Benton, Montana. Trial starts on November 21st. Stay tuned to this page for all sorts of updates about logistics and other information leading up to the trial, and then of course live updates during the trial proceedings itself.

If you're planning on joining us in court in Montana, please fill out the RSVP form here.

Contribute Take Action Now

get updates