Ben Taylor: Wouldbe terrorist or pathetic Beta-male?
Ben Taylor, 27, an activist with Insulate Britain appeared in the High Court on Tuesday for breaching an injunction banning disruptive protests on the nation’s roads.
Taylor first told the court that he would “go and block the motorway at the earliest opportunity and will continue to do so until the Government makes a meaningful statement and acts on it”.
Then what appeared to be a pre-written statement he said: “If you send me away to prison, 10 people will step forward in my place. If you send each of us away, 100 people will step forward and take our places. If you send 100 of us away, 1,000 people will step forward to take our place. adding “If you somehow manage to stop all non-violent protests, then things will only turn violent.”
On Tuesday, Taylor was one of nine protesters who admitted being in breach of an injunction designed to prevent their road blockades. They are all facing a possible jail term for their part in a blockade of the M25 on October 8.A former mountain guide from Manchester, who this year crowdfunded £1,500 to collect plastic while paddling, cycling and walking around the coast of the UK, Mr Taylor also took part in a protest on November 2 at junction six of the M56 near Manchester Airport and in Parliament Square, London, on November 4
Insulate Britain blocked traffic on major motorways and other roads around the UK from September, most frequently the M25, calling on the Government to introduce better insulation in Britain’s housing stock.Lawyers representing National Highways told the High Court in London on Tuesday that all nine supporters of the group admit the breaches, although two of them have asked the agency to withdraw one allegation relating to refusing to leave the road when asked by police or other officials.
Myriam Stacey QC said the injunction banning protest activity on the M25 motorway was granted by a High Court judge on September 21. She said a National Highways official described their protests, which began on September 13 and have continued for around nine weeks so far, as “unprecedented and sustained”. She told the court the official also described the protesters as “peaceful and compliant”, and said they are “loosely affiliated” to Extinction Rebellion. Sentencing is expected to take place on Wednesday. The group says it intends to continue with the protests, which have sparked anger among motorists and others affected by the blockades, until the Government agrees to insulate homes.
Several commentators have criticized the Judge for allowing Taylor to make ideological statements and make threats during the trial whilst some are pointing to the fact that, far from them being 'anti-establishment' they are part of the establishment and, in reality, doing their bidding.