Just Stop Oil supporters released despite continued resistance

Four Just Stop Oil supporters were due to appear at Birmingham Crown Court at 10:30am today charged with contempt of court for breaking the Kingsbury protest injunction, but one refused to leave her cell at HMP Foston Hall, while the other three delayed proceedings by refusing to leave the prison van.[1]

Proceedings against Beth Garrett, 35, from West Yorkshire, Hannah Torrance Bright, 20, from Glasgow and Karen Wildin, 58, from Leicestershire have continued after a delay. Karen and Beth have been released for time served after being sentenced to 14 days for two injunction breaches and failure to attend court. Hannah was sentenced to 18 days after refusing to stand for the judge, she will be released from HMP Foston Hall tomorrow after spending seven days in prison.  

The case against Michelle Charlesworth, 55, from Oxfordshire is due to be heard this afternoon. Michelle, who has been imprisoned since 4th May, has been engaged in a civil resistance campaign within prison, after she received sanctions for allegedly glueing on in court. Along with seven other female Just Stop Oil supporters at HMP Foston Hall, Michelle started practising nonviolent non-compliance with the prison authorities, including refusing to leave her cell for two court appearances, which has resulted in rough treatment and use of “pain compliance”.

Writing from prison last week, Michelle said

My courage is not wavering and I am here to do a job.  Inmates are curious and want to know more. It’s interesting how little officers and inmates seem to know or understand about the existential crisis we are in. Everyone is looking at us and wondering why we would go to such lengths. 

“There is much work to do, sharing the message and showing this part of society what we are all about. Courage, love, solidarity, nonviolent resistance. The disruptions we have caused have impacted our wing – however the messages being filtered back through the prison grape vine is that there is respect for what we are doing”

Hannah 20, from Glasgow, who skipped a court appearance on 12th May to protest at Kingsbury and was involved in the occupation of Glasgow’s Nustar oil terminal on 3rd and 4th May along with 40 other Just Stop Oil supporters, said: 

“I won’t accept the legitimacy of any legal process that so blatantly protects the profit of the fossil fuel companies over the futures of the people. I committed to putting my body on the line to fight this gross injustice and I am choosing to continue begging the UK government for a livable future.”

Just Stop Oil supporters are being charged and imprisoned for telling the truth about the government’s genocidal pursuit of new oil and gas. We have made a conscious choice to resist the destruction of humanity and we are prepared to accept the consequences. We don’t need you to feel sorry for us, we need you to join us, to step up and take action. Join our zoom calls at 7pm. It’s 2022 and the time to stand by has passed.


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Notes to Editors

[1] https://www.northwarks.gov.uk/downloads/file/9139/injunction_order