Telford pensioner jailed for seven days vows to keep protesting about climate change

A 74-year-old climate protestor from Telford who spent seven nights in jail has promised to carry on "fighting for the future of the planet".

Barry Mitchell and Kate Griffith protesting outside Birmingham Crown Court
Barry Mitchell and Kate Griffith protesting outside Birmingham Crown Court

Barry Mitchell - a former oil engineer who has had a massive change of heart - was outside Birmingham Crown Court supporting fellow activists being sentenced for their part in protests outside Kingsbury Oil Depot last month.

Mr Mitchell was jailed for breaking a Government injunction which forbade protests outside the oil depot after the disruption it caused, however, he claims only to have stood on grass with a placard.

He said: "We were just showing how stupid this injunction was.

"I spent seven nights in HMP Hewell. It was OK. The other prisoners were asking what I was in for, when I told them for protesting they could not believe it.

"But as I told them, they held the same opinion as a lot of judges have in this country, they are not happy about the justice system being used to stop protest."

The non-violent protestor said: "I am part of several environmental groups who are trying to stop fossil fuels being extracted from the earth and to put climate change on the agenda.

"Something has to be done, the climate is running out of control, I will carry on."

Mr Mitchell has a busy year ahead, with climate protests planned throughout the summer, culminating in September.

Barry Mitchell outside Birmingham Crown Court

"In the past we have concentrated on London but now we are going to do more in the regions," said Mr Mitchell.

Protests and blockades at the Kingsbury Oil Depot in Warwickshire began on April 1 and more than 180 arrests were made by police. Offences included criminal damage, conspiracy to cause criminal damage and conspiracy to commit public nuisance.

An injunction was taken out to stop the disruption and now more than 20 protestors have been sentenced in Birmingham.

Protests across the country led to 330 arrests as climate protestors tried to disrupt the supply of oil and petrol to highlight their demands for no new oil contracts to be given to multinational energy companies.

Much Wenlock grandmother Kate Griffith was also outside Birmingham Crown Court today.

The 67-year-old said: "What is happening to these protestors is just awful. We have to do something, I am a 'grannychist' because I want the world to be safe for my two grandchildren.

"We have enough oil to keep the world going for eight years, so why allow more. W have to do something in the next two years or we will only have 80 years left on the planet."

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