Insulate Britain in prison

IssueApril - May 2022
News by David Polden

After five Insulate Britain (IB) activists were jailed in February, police forces in three counties brought criminal charges against IB road blockaders in March.

Kent police charged 74 people, all but one for causing a public nuisance, many also for obstruction of the highway. Two were charged with criminal damage to a police car.

The Met in London laid 63 ‘public nuisance’ charges against 56 activists.

Surrey police brought 131 charges. They charged 54 people with obstruction of the highway; and 11 of them also for criminal damage or possession of a bladed knife.

The prison sentences came on 2 February, when the high court jailed five IB protesters for contempt of court. Four had glued their hands together outside the high court while boycotting their contempt of court hearing inside! Their sentences ranged from 24 to 42 days.

The fifth sentence went to Ben Taylor, already serving six months for breaching the original injunction. He received an extra 32 days inside.

Another 11 IB defendants were not sent to jail but were given suspended sentences for contempt of court – for breaking the injunction against blockading the M25 motorway around London.

Their sentences ranged between 24 and 60 days, suspended for two years.

Also in February, Insulate Britain joined the Just Stop Oil campaign to shut down oil refineries.

A Parfitt result

Reverend Sue Parfitt (80), who nearly went to prison in December for her Insulate Britain activism, is the latest person to benefit from the Ziegler decision.

She was acquitted on appeal on 24 March for a Christian Climate Action/XR blockade in December 2020. (She’d previously been fined £250 with £500 costs.)