Activism

Over 100 Insulate Britain protesters have been charged with criminal offences

The activists face charges of criminal damage, public nuisance, and wilful obstruction of the highway

Insulate Britain

Insulate Britain protesters block the road outside parliament. Image: Insulate Britain

Over 100 Insulate Britain protesters have been charged with criminal offences after the group blocked roads during its campaign of resistance in 2021.

In total, 293 charges have been brought against 117 of the group’s activists, comprising of causing a public nuisance, wilful obstruction of the highway, and criminal damage.

A number of Insulate Britain members were jailed for civil offences after breaking an injunction against the group, but activists say the volume of new criminal charges was worrying.

Cameron Ford, a carpenter from Cambridge who is due to appear in court, said: “The CPS undertaking these mass prosecutions is an attempt by our government to ignore and avoid addressing the biggest dangers facing people right now.”

The harshest penalty – for public nuisance – carries a typical maximum sentence of up to five years.

The summoned protesters will appear at hearing at Crawley, Chelmsford and Stratford magistrates courts across April and May.

The group has not blocked roads in 2022, with some of the group’s members putting their efforts towards Just Stop Oil – who made headlines by locking themselves to goalposts during Premier League matches.

Nick Till, a university professor from London appearing at Crawley Magistrates on April 6, said: “I do not regret my actions. Even though I regret the inconvenience caused to many of my fellow citizens by my actions, it is nothing compared to what is coming down the line for those same people and their loved ones if we fail to do anything.”

In total, 174 people were arrested 857 times during Insulate Britain’s autumn campaign, according to the group.

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