Nine Insulate Britain protesters have been jailed for their actions in a protest following another that blocked the Chorleywood junction to the M25.
The activists were handed down sentences at London’s High Court today for their part in a protest on October 8 blocking the M25’s junction 25, which followed another the previous month that affected those trying to get to the village via the motorway.
By taking part in the October protest, the nine breached an injunction placed by Highways England designed to prevent the protesters from doing so.
Ana Heyatawin, 58, and Louis McKechnie, 20, have both received three-month long sentences, while Ben Buse, 36, Roman Paluch-Machnik, 28, Oliver Rock, 41, Emma Smart, 44, Tim Speers, 36, and James Thomas, 47, have been jailed for four months each.
A ninth member, 37-year-old Ben Taylor, was handed down a six-month sentence to “to deter (him) from committing further breaches” according to judges.
In response to the sentencing, an Insulate Britain activist read out this letter from the convicted on the High Court’s steps:
“By imprisoning us, the government shows its cowardice. They would rather lock up pensioners than insulate their homes. They would rather lock up teachers than create thousands of proper jobs. They would rather lock up young people than take practical steps to reduce emissions. They will lock us up and leave thousands to die of cold this winter. We knew we would face prison when we took this action, but we could not stand by while the government betrays the general public.
“Following the widely recognised failure of our government at COP26, we are continuing to ask them to get on with the job: of cutting carbon emissions; of insulating cold and leaky houses; of protecting the people of this country from climate collapse, because the lives of our children and those of all future generations hang in the balance.
“To the government we say, you can’t imprison a flood, there are no unlimited fines against a famine, you can’t bankrupt a fire.”