Activists in 4-state pipeline protest embrace unique defense - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Activists in 4-state pipeline protest embrace unique defense

Posted: Updated:
BISMARCK, N.D. -

An environmental activist is due to stand trial for targeting an oil pipeline in North Dakota as part of a broader effort to draw attention to climate change.

Michael Foster's trial is scheduled to start Monday in Pembina County. He was among 11 activists arrested when they tried to shut down pipelines in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Washington state last October.

The defendants are trying to use what's known as the necessity defense, or justifying a crime by arguing it prevented a greater harm. The prosecutor in Foster's case wants the judge to disallow it.

The defense was rejected in the Washington and Montana cases. A decision is pending with the Minnesota cases.

Foster says he wants to "challenge the jury to use their conscience to consider my act of conscience."

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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