Eco-warriors have caused chaos at an East London hearing by glueing themselves to the court, illegally filming inside, and smearing the walls with blood to protest government inaction on climate change.
Sitting Insulate Britain defendants Ana Heyatawin, 59, from Wells, Dr Diana Warner, 63 a retired GP from Bristol, and Liam Norton, 37, an electrician, wrought carnage at Stratford Magistrates last Tuesday (April 26) causing the magistrates to abandon the hearing.
The three supporters read a statement to the court whilst glueing their hands to court furniture, unfurling Insulate Britain banners, and live streaming the whole debacle. It comes after protesters brought traffic to a standstill with a campaign of disruption across motorway chokepoints around London in 2021.
Twenty Insulate Britain supporters were due in court today (April 30), but only 18 appeared. They are facing various charges including public nuisance. Last week they sent an open letter to the UK judiciary which declared the courts are now a site of nonviolent civil resistance.
On top of their existing charges, the eco-warriors could face two years in prison and a £1,000 fine for live streaming their Tuesday hearing and posting videos on YouTube. Filming inside court and publishing footage is illegal under section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act and could be regarded as contempt if it interferes with justice.
Insulate Britain spokesperson Liam Norton said: “We charge the judiciary with complicity in the treason of the Government. The law has been decoupled from the most basic morality and has instead been bent to the will of a tyrannical government intent on protecting the short term interests of a tiny elite, at the expense of the lives of all.
“Under these circumstances, it is not good enough for the judiciary to say ‘I am just doing my job’. It is incorrect to claim ‘I am upholding the law’ perhaps you are ‘Just following orders?’
“By rubber-stamping projects such as road building, new fossil fuel extraction, airport expansion which are inconsistent with a liveable future. By issuing fines and imprisoning ordinary people fighting for a future for their communities and children, the legal system is making a mockery of the rule of law.”
The Metropolitan Police said: “Met police officers have arrested three people today, Tuesday 26 April, following their disturbance at Stratford Magistrates’ Court at about 12pm. A 37-year-old man was arrested for attempted criminal damage and assault on an emergency worker, a 63-year-old woman and a 59-year-old woman were arrested for criminal damage after they glued themselves to furniture in the courtroom.
“A police de-bonding team unstuck the three people. All three have been taken into custody at an east-London police station. They were appearing at the court charged with one count of public nuisance in connection with protests in 2021.”