Fundraising page set up to help jailed Insulate Britain protester pay his rent

23 November 2021, 14:05 | Updated: 23 November 2021, 14:57

Oliver Rock was jailed last week
Oliver Rock was jailed last week. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

A fundraising page has been set up for a jailed Insulate Britain protester to help him pay his rent while he is in prison.

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Oliver Rock received a four-month sentence at the High Court last week after admitting breaching an injunction by taking part in a blockade on the M25 on October 8.

The 41-year-old was one of nine activists jailed for the offence.

READ MORE: Two months of chaos: A timeline of Insulate Britain's disruptive protests

READ MORE: LBC Views: Insulate Britain – are they martyrs or idiots?

His sister, Isobel, has set up a crowdfunding page, pleading with people to help her "kind hearted, generous, morally upstanding brother".

She wrote: "Olly acted to protect the most vulnerable in society, to create a safer world for future generations and for this he is being punished.

"The government would rather send peaceful protesters to prison than act to insulate homes and mitigate the effects of the climate crisis that we are in."

She said Rock is a self-employed carpenter who lost the sight in his right eye at the start of year and whose business has been "massively affected" by the pandemic.

She added: "He has no savings and we desperately need to cover Olly's rent while he is in prison and for a couple of months afterwards as it will take a while for him to get back on his feet with work."

She said any extra money raised "will go to helping any of the others also imprisoned if they need it".

Ben Buse, 36, Roman Paluch-Machnik, 28, Emma Smart, 44, Tim Speers, 36, and James Thomas, 47, were also jailed for four months, while Ana Heyatawin, 58, and Louis McKechnie, 20, received three-month sentences.

Ben Taylor, 37, was given a longer sentence of six months "to deter (him) from committing further breaches", after he made submissions to the court that were described by Dame Victoria Sharp as "inflammatory" and a "call to arms".

The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Chamberlain, said there was no alternative to custodial sentences given the group's actions were so serious and they had made it clear they intended to further flout court orders.

Insulate Britain then vowed to continue the protests until the Government agrees to insulate homes.