Climate Activists facing prison time!

Yvonne O'Halloran

The extent of civil resistance to fossil fuel development has been accelerating in the UK. The direct action of climate activists has reached new heights of devotion, with so many members of “ Just Stop Oil”  blocking oil infrastructure. These actions are being met with harsher consequences as at least 14 activists have been sentenced to imprisonment.

After an almost continuous disruption of oil infrastructure in April, injunctions were placed on the surrounding areas to protect the functioning and distribution of fossil fuels in the UK. Injunctions are court orders that prohibit people from taking particular actions in certain areas and can be more seriously punished if broken. Despite the injunctions, Just Stop Oil supporters have decided to continue protesting in prohibited areas, with some refusing to attend court as a further act of defiance, whilst others used their court appearance to allegedly glue-down at the end of the court proceedings.

These devotees of climate resistance have lost civil liberties and are being treated as serious criminals. The companies that are largely responsible for polluting and killing the inhabitants of the planet, remain carefully guarded by a toxic system that facilitates the growth of a greedy and consumerist world for the rich, generating the predicted“climate apartheid” of the UN. It is almost shocking that in the 21st century, such injustice is being whole-heartedly supported by the UK government.=

It seems going to prison for protesting  climate inaction will continue to become a new normal, as Australian courts crack down harder on the other side of the world too. Maxim O’Donnell Curmi, a member of “Blockade Australia”, was sentenced to 4 months in prison in March, after scaling a crane and blocking a freight terminal of Port Botany, as an act against Australia’s inaction on climate change. Maxim O’Donnell Curmi pleaded guilty to 5 charges regarding activism before receiving the sentence.

The impacts of global warming are already here and affecting people around the globe. The continued support of planet killing industries by western governments is cruel, and will cause those least at fault for polluting the planet to suffer the most. It is now that we have to stand together and make swift action to protect the inhabitants of the planet, be it humans, animals, plants… all life is at stake.

We know what to do. We need to switch to renewable energy and redesign the food system, encouraging people to live a more plant- based lifestyle. Whilst the solutions are there, the political enforcement is evidently stunted and failing to grasp the seriousness of the climate crisis.

Article written by Aisling Geraghty- United Kingdom

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