More than 50 protesters who are demanding urgent action to address the climate crisis were sent to jail on one day this week after refusing to comply with court proceedings.
The campaigners, who were appearing before judges at two separate hearings in London and Birmingham, had broken an injunction to take part in a blockade of the Kingsbury oil terminal near Tamworth in Staffordshire on Wednesday.
But when they appeared at the Queen Elizabeth court in Birmingham and the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Thursday, they refused to comply, standing on chairs, turning their backs to the judge and reading out prepared statements about the scale of the crisis.
One of the defendants took off his shirt to reveal the words “Sham justice kills kids” written on his body, while another held up a copy of David Wallace-Wells’s book The Uninhabitable Earth and recommended it to the court.
Many of the protesters made it clear they would continue to take action at the Kingsbury terminal if they were released on bail, despite an injunction prohibiting protests at the site still being in force.
In response, 30 protesters in Birmingham and 21 in London were remanded in prison and are due to appear before the courts again next week, when activist group Just Stop Oil said they could face lengthy spells in prison.
In total there are now 54 Just Stop Oil protesters in prison and since April, when the group began blocking oil terminals, there have been more than 1,350 arrests.
In a statement, the group said: “As the government doubles down on fossil fuel energy by “ramping up supply” and breaks its manifesto commitment on fracking, Just Stop Oil supporters will continue to take nonviolent direct action to demand an end to this genocidal death project.
“We accept the consequences of our actions and we don’t need you to feel sorry for us, we need you to step up and join us.”