Climate activists block Lambeth Bridge in solidarity with jailed Insulate Britain members

Various climate campaign groups gathered on Lambeth Bridge in Westminster to protest the jail sentences of nine Insulate Britain members

Climate activists block Lambeth Bridge in solidarity with jailed Insulate Britain members
Climate change activists sit down and block traffic during a protest action in solidarity with activists from the Insulate Britain group who received prison terms
Climate change activists sit down and block traffic during a protest action in solidarity with activists from the Insulate Britain group who received prison terms CREDIT: TOLGA AKMEN /AFP

Climate activists have blocked Lambeth Bridge in Westminster to protest against the jailing of Insulate Britain members who breached a court injunction. 

Nine protesters from Insulate Britain were sent to prison this week for breaching an injunction designed to prevent the road blockades which have sparked anger among motorists and others affected by the protests.

On Saturday, various different climate campaign groups gathered on Lambeth Bridge to protest against the custodial sentences. 

Climate change activists hold placards outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London
Climate change activists hold placards outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London CREDIT: AFP
Climate activists gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice in Westminster, central London in a show of solidarity with jailed Insulate Britain protestors
Climate activists gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice in Westminster, central London in a show of solidarity with jailed Insulate Britain protestors CREDIT: London News Pictures Ltd

“Make no mistake, these are political prisoners and they will not be the last,” one campaigner told hundreds of supporters who gathered outside London’s Royal Courts of Justice. 

The group then moved towards Lambeth Bridge, where they sat down and blocked traffic. 

“There’s probably going to be a lot of arrests,” a spokeswoman for Insulate Britain said. “People are so upset at the nine people going to prison, they are not going to move.”

The campaigners marched through central London, blocking Lambeth Bridge in Westminster
The campaigners marched through central London, blocking Lambeth Bridge in Westminster CREDIT: London News Pictures Ltd

The nine protesters were sentenced at the High Court on Wednesday after they admitted breaching an injunction by taking part in a blockade at junction 25 of the M25 during the morning rush hour on October 8.Advertisement

Ana Heyatawin, 58, and Louis McKechnie, 20, were jailed 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 four-month sentences.

Ben Taylor, 37, was given a longer sentence of six months “to deter (him) from committing further breaches” after his submissions to the court on Tuesday were described by Dame Victoria Sharp as “inflammatory” and a “call to arms”.

The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Chamberlain, said there was no alternative to custodial sentences given that the group’s actions were so serious and they had made it clear they intended to further flout court orders.

Insulate Britain has said it intends to continue the protests until the Government agrees to insulate homes.

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