Title: Climate Activist Facing Prison Sentence After Defying Court Order
We all know that climate change is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed, but what happens when those who are trying to make a difference are met with legal consequences? David Nixon, a supporter of the Insulate Britain climate protest campaign, is facing a prison sentence after he was convicted for contempt of court for telling a jury his actions were motivated by the climate crisis.
This blog post dives into the story of David Nixon and the other three defendants who were found guilty at Inner London crown court on Monday for causing a public nuisance by blocking the junction of Bishopsgate and Wormwood St in the City of London on 25 October 2021.
The action was part of an extended campaign of disruptive protest by Insulate Britain, calling for the government to begin a programme to retrofit every single home in the country with insulation. However, the judge, Silas Reid, told the defendants at the beginning of the trial last week not to cite climate change as one of their motivations for taking part in the protest.
In spite of this, as closing speeches were made in court on Monday, Nixon turned to the jury and, in reference to evidence that an estimated 8,500 bus passengers’ journeys were affected by their protest, said: “Coincidentally, 8,500 people is the amount of people estimated to have died in cold homes. This is significant and substantial.”
As Reid directed the jury to leave the court, Nixon continued: “That’s before moving on to climate change. Posters around the court building are saying that we are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”
Nixon was standing trial alongside Kai Bartlett, Alyson Lee and Christian Murray-Leslie. After the jury of seven women and six men jury returned, Reid told them to disregard Nixon’s statements. No application was made for them to be discharged, and he ruled the trial could continue.
In a short subsequent hearing while the jury went out to consider their verdict, Nixon admitted contempt and declined two offers from Reid to apologise to the court, telling the judge: “I wish I could but I don’t think it would be doing anything.”
Reid adjourned contempt proceedings until Tuesday, when he said he would pass a sentence on Nixon. He told jurors: “This is not a trial about climate change, fuel poverty, etc. Matters relating to that are not relevant to your deliberations, no matter how much Mr Nixon wants them to be.”
This story of David Nixon and the other three defendants highlights the importance of the climate crisis and the need for action to be taken. It also sheds light on the legal consequences of those who are actively fighting for change. Join us in this blog post as we explore the story of David Nixon and the other three defendants and the implications of their actions.