Some of the Insulate Britain protestors who have been blocking motorways and main roads across the UK have been jailed for breaching court injunctions. That includes 9 activists who were jailed for between 3 months and 6 months after they made it clear that they might repeat their actions.
The judge said that although there is a right to make peaceful protests. “Ordinary members of the public have rights too, including the right to use the highways”.
The defendants have also been ordered to pay National Highways legal costs which were originally estimated to be £91,000 but were reduced by the court to £45,000, i.e. £5,000 per defendant. How some of them will pay those charges is not clear.
These protests are costing the police many millions of pounds for which there is no justification at all, while road users have suffered similar costs in delays. It seems likely legal actions will be pursued over other similar protests. Let us hope these penalties will persuade Insulate Britain to think again over their campaign.
Comment: Peaceful protest to bring the concerns of activists to the general public is one thing. But when they deliberately obstruct other people going about their legitimate business it is another thing altogether and obstructing roads is clearly an offence. Such behaviour should not be tolerated and penalties should be made more severe if these protests continue.
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