This morning, at Highbury Magistrates court, a Just Stop Oil supporter was remanded to prison after slow marching in London.
Chiara Sarti, 24, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, appeared before Judge McDonnell and was remanded to prison for marching on the streets of London at Earls court. She marched and was arrested on the 15th of November.
Chiara was charged with a Public Order Act 2023 Section 7 offence relating to interfering with the use or operation of any key national infrastructure (roads). They self represented in court and were offered a choice of having their cases heard in a Magistrates or Crown Court. Chiara elected for a Crown Court trial, saying “I wish to be judged by my peers.”
When asked to confirm their name, Chiara said: “The government is licensing over 100 new fossil fuel licences in the middle of a climate crisis”
When asked to give their date of birth, Chiara said: “I’m 24 years old – I was born after the first COP, I’ve been lied to my whole life. Emissions since then have risen year on year. We are being systematically lied to. I have the greatest respect for everyone in this court”
The Crown Prosecution Service told Chiara : “On the 15th November, in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea you were slow marching, intending to interfere with key infrastructure”
Chiara responded “ How many students will be sent to prison for marching down a road? How many mothers have to starve themselves in order to feed their children?”
The court heard that Chiara was in breach of a recent condition from the court to not enter London as bound by the M25. When asked why they were in London, Chiara responded:
“I am an ordinary person who has to take desperate action in these circumstances. I have a moral responsibility to be in civil resistance. I have a democratic right to protest. The laws I am being charged under – were written by an oil company – this is disgusting. The government should be in this dock, not me.”
Chiara then lay down on the floor in the dock. The judge remanded Chiara to prison and said: “This court previously released you on bail – but clearly within 2 weeks you were within London. You have said to me today you have a moral responsibility to break laws in this country. I think you will break bail if released today.”
The public gallery was cleared and 6 court staff entered to take Chiara away. Chiara will next appear in Southwark Crown Court on the 30th November to enter their plea.
Speaking before slow marching this week, Chiara said:
“The government is taking us for fools if they think we don’t see through their bullshit. Destroying our future is one thing, lying to us about it is another. We won’t let them get away with mass murder for the sake of greed.”