Injured Scientist and Just Stop Oil supporter released.

The ecologist Emma Smart, a Just Stop Oil supporter who suffered extensive injuries and was placed in isolation while held on remand after peacefully refusing to cooperate with prison staff, has been released. 

Emma Smart, 45, from Weymouth, was arrested and detained without warning by the Metropolitan Police on Wednesday 24th August along with Gwen Harrison, 45, from Kendal, Morgan Trowland, 39, from London and Paul Sheeky, 47, from Warrington. On Friday 26th August the Crown Prosecution Service made an application to Southend Magistrates to hold them in prison for at least one month with the possibility of extending until 24th February 2023. [1] However all four Just Stop Oil supporters were released on bail this morning 6th September. 

Emma, who was held at HMP Peterborough, was peacefully refusing to cooperate with prison staff in order to gain access to her medication and appropriate food. On September 2nd she was subjected to a response by staff that resulted in her requiring urgent medical attention. She suffered injuries to her head, face, shoulder and wrist and was then placed in isolation for “being a risk to staff, being a risk to other prisoners and being a risk to the regime”.

Emma Smart said:

“If the regime is one of intimidation that is upheld by individuals using aggression and violence for control then this is an unethical, unprofessional regime. To challenge and present a risk to this regime is morally right.”

Still being held without trial are Joshua Smith, 29 from Manchester and Louis McKechnie, 21 from Weymouth, who are now into their eighth week in prison. [2] 

Also on remand in prison is Chris Bennet, 31 from Bristol, who was arrested on 30th August after spending a week in one of the tunnels under a road near the Navigator Oil refinery in Essex. Three other Essex tunnellers – Xavier Gonzalez Trimmer , 21, Joe Howlett, 32, from Bath, Sam Johnson, 39, from Suffolk- who were arrested on Sunday [3] – were at Southend Magistrates Court today where they were remanded to prison until October 4th when they will appear at Basildon Crown Court.  

A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said:

“All those who join in civil resistance with Just Stop Oil, know that they are risking prison and they are not looking for sympathy. They want you to join them in resisting a government that is prepared to see the vulnerable mistreated, millions reduced to destituation, a government that is destroying our freedoms, rights and security. When our bodies are the only weapon we have we will put them on the wheels of the machine.

The Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service have conspired to imprison eleven ordinary people without trial. Combine this, with the news that not one, but two journalists covering Just Stop Oil actions last month were also arrested presumably for conspiring to tell the story that civil resistance will end new oil and gas.

We invite everyone in crisis, people who understand the unfolding climate catastrophe, those who are being made poor to fund the bonuses of energy bosses, to join us in London on 1st October. Groups from around the U.K. will be coming together in a Conspiracy to Care. We will occupy Westminster until our government pledges to do the same.”

So far this year 31 ordinary people, supporters of Just Stop Oil, have spent time locked up before going to hearings. How many more ordinary desperate people will this government imprison?


Notes to editors