Insulate Britain protester on hunger strike in jail is taken to hospital wing

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Emma Smart, 44, from Weymouth, has been taken to her prison’s hospital wing as she continues a hunger strike and is now on day 13. She was jailed for four months for breaching an injunction

Emma Smart, 44, from Weymouth, has been moved to the hospital wing at HMP Bronzefield
Emma Smart, 44, from Weymouth, is seen with her husband Andy

A hunger-striking Insulate Britain protester in prison is now being given hospital treatment on her 13th day without food, said the campaign group.

Emma Smart, 44, from Weymouth, Dorset, was moved to the hospital wing at HMP Bronzefield in Ashford, Surrey, where she can be closer observed, last Friday.

Her husband, Andy Smith, said that she is “feeling a bit weak but she’s still in good spirits”.

She was jailed for four months on November 17 for breaching an injunction and vowed to stop eating until the government moves to insulate homes.

Smart said: “The window of my cell in the hospital wing is blocked up and there is little natural light, in my previous cell I could see the birds and trees that line the prison fence.

Ms Smart, pictured with her husband Andy, is on day 13 of her hunger strike in prison
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“I have less time to go outside in the prison yard for exercise now.

“All of this is testing my resolve to continue, but I feel that not eating is the only thing I can do from prison to draw attention to those who will have to make the choice between heating and eating this winter.”

Insulate Britain members, including Ms Smart’s husband, are to stage a 24-hour fast outside 10 Downing Street on Tuesday morning in solidarity with her, the group said.

“She is feeling a bit weak but she’s still in good spirits,” said Mr Smith, 45.

“I think a hunger strike is about 80% mental (strength) so as long as she’s doing OK mentally I think she’ll probably continue on her hunger strike until the government make a meaningful statement as to whether they’re going to insulate the homes of Britain or not.”


She was jailed for four months on November 17 for breaching an injunction
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Image:

PA)

He said his wife had been relocated to the hospital wing so that prison staff could more easily monitor her health.

“I last spoke to her yesterday but she’s recently had her telephone rights revoked so it’s increasingly difficult to speak to her,” he said, adding that it was not clear why the prison had taken the step.

Mr Smith said: “It is quite difficult, but also aware that other things are difficult.

“We’ve made difficult decisions throughout the last three years. We didn’t step lightly into making decisions to be arrested, we didn’t step lightly into making decisions not to have any children…

“There’s clearly a lot of inaction coming from our government, they’re not taking the steps that are needed to combat the climate crisis that we’re in, and they would rather just chuck people in prison than actually face up and deal with those problems.”

Ms Smart is one of nine members of the group jailed for breaching an injunction designed to prevent the road blockades which have sparked anger among motorists and others affected by the protests.

They appeared at the High Court on November 17 after they admitted breaching an injunction by taking part in a blockade at junction 25 of the M25 during the morning rush hour on October 8.

They received sentences of between three and six months and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs each.

A further nine Insulate Britain protesters are to appear at the High Court on December 14 to face a charge of contempt of court.

Insulate Britain began a wave of protests in September and supporters have blocked the M25, roads in London including around Parliament, roads in Birmingham and Manchester and around the Port of Dover in Kent.

Videos showing furious motorists dragging the climate activists away from the blockades have gone viral on a number of occasions.

The group is demanding that the government insulate Britain’s “leaky homes” and end deaths it says are caused by winter fuel shortages.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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