Jailed Insulate Britain activists ‘will not be last’ to be locked up

Insulate Britain’s nine climate activists jailed are “political prisoners” and will not be the last to be incarcerated, supporters said.

The group was arrested this week for violating an injunction designed to prevent the roadblocks that have caused anger among motorists and others affected by the protests.

One activist who only mentioned her name as Gully told up to 200 supporters who gathered outside London’s Royal Courts of Justice: “Make no mistake, these are political prisoners and they will not be the last.”

Insulate Britain started a wave of protests in September, blocking the M25, other roads in London including around Parliament, roads in Birmingham and Manchester and around the port of Dover in Kent.

In a warning to the heavy police presence surrounding the event, Gully said, “These streets are ours and we will put one foot in front of the other and dare to stop.”

She added, “You can lock up the Resistance, but not the Resistance.”

The group, closely watched by uniformed officers, then went on a protest stroll down the nearby streets in central London towards Westminster, chanting “Power to the people”.

There was cheering during the walk when an activist told the crowd that “it is a duty of good people to disobey bad laws”.

Insulate Britain said it was not involved in setting up the event, which was described by attendees as community-run.

The nine protesters were sentenced by the High Court on Wednesday after admitting they had violated a restraining order by participating in a blockade at Junction 25 of the M25 during the morning rush hour on October 8.

Ana Heyatawin, 58, and Louis McKechnie, 20, were imprisoned for three months, while Ben Buse, 36, Roman Paluch-Machnik, 28, Oliver Rock, 41, Emma Smart, 44, Tim Speers, 36, and James Thomas, 47 , received a four-month sentence.

Ben Taylor, 37, was sentenced to an extended six months’ imprisonment “to deter (him) from further violations” after Dame Victoria Sharp described his submissions as “inflammatory” and “call to arms” by Dame Victoria Sharp on Tuesday .

The judge, who was sitting with Justice Chamberlain, said there was no alternative to imprisonment because the group’s actions were so grave and they had made it clear that they wanted to continue to disregard court orders.

Insulate Britain has announced that the protests will continue until the government agrees to isolate houses.

And the imprisoned protester Emma Smart has vowed to go on a hunger strike.

The High Court has issued five injunctions so far to prevent protesters from blocking streets.

These include four injunctions against National Highways, a ban on demonstrations on the M25, around the port of Dover and on main roads around London, and one against Transport for London (TfL).

TfL has been issued a civil law ban to prevent protesters from obstructing traffic on some of the capital’s busiest streets.

Those who break the injunctions could face disregard of the court and face a maximum sentence of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

Further proceedings in the High Court are expected to begin on October 27th against other Insulate Britain protesters related to protests.

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