More than £8,500 raised to cover Insulate Britain protester’s rent while he’s in prison

More than £8,500 raised to cover Insulate Britain protester’s rent while he’s in prison

More than £8,500 has been raised to cover the rent of an Insulate Britain protester while he is in jail.

Carpenter Oliver Rock is among nine eco-warriors who are locked up after blockading the M25 in defiance of High Court injunction.

The 41-year-old Berkshire man was sentenced to four months in prison, and will be serving a minimum of two.

The fundraiser was set up by his sister Isabel Rock, who set a fundraising target of £7,800 to cover his £700 per month rent for six months, plus extra to help him “get back on his feet”.

Speaking to PA, Rock said the fundraiser “exceeded my wildest expectations” as donations piled in over the last two days.

As of Thursday afternoon the fundraiser has received 200 donations and 100 comments. One anonymous donor contributed a massive £2,000 to the pot.

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Commenting, one donor called Meg wrote: “Thank you for your phenomenal bravery and sacrifice. Your actions were right and necessary and history will be on your side.”

On the fundraising page, Rock wrote: “Anything extra raised will go to helping any of the others also imprisoned if they need it.”

Rock added: “I’m so proud of my brave brother for standing up for the most vulnerable in society and trying to instigate some kind of change. If you can help out with any kind of donation we would be so grateful.”

The other eight who have also been jailed are Ana Heyatawin, Louis McKechnie, Ben Buse, Roman Paluch-Machnik, Emma Smart, Tim Speers, James Thomas, and Ben Taylor with sentences ranging between three months to six months.

Emma Smart, who received a four-month sentence, began a hunger strike at HMP Bronzefield after being sentenced on 17 November.

Insulate Britain shared a message from her on Monday, in which she said she will continue with her strike “until the government issues a meaningful statement to get on with the job of insulating Britain’s leaky homes.”

Insulate Britain began a wave of protests in September, blocking the M25, other roads in London including around Parliament, Lambeth Bridge, Vauxhall Bride, roads in Birmingham and Manchester, and near the Port of Dover in Kent.

Since starting their demonstrations the eco-warriors have been driven into, doused in ink, and had bagpipes played in their faces.

The mother who went viral for driving her car into protesters made headlines after seemingly selling merch and planning nightclub meet and greets.

The High Court has so far issued five injunctions to prevent protesters from blocking roads.

Those who breach the injunctions could be found in contempt of court and face a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

Additional reporting by PA.

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