Family of jailed Insulate Britain activist raise £8,500 to pay his rent

Undated handout file photo issued by Insulate Britain of their activists (back row left to right) Tim Speers, Roman Paluch, Emma Smart, Ben Taylor, James Thomas, (front row left to right) Louis McKechnie, Ana Heyatawin and Oliver Rock, who along with Dr Ben Buse have been jailed at the High Court for breaching an injunction designed to prevent the group's road blockades. The family of one of activists have raised more than £8,500 to cover his rent while he is in prison. Oliver Rock, a self-employed carpenter from Berkshire, is among the nine Insulate Britain activists jailed after blockading the M25 in defiance of a High Court injunction in November. Issue date: Thursday November 25, 2021.
(back row left to right) Tim Speers, Roman Paluch, Emma Smart, Ben Taylor, James Thomas, (front row left to right) Louis McKechnie, Ana Heyatawin and Oliver Rock

The family of a jailed Insulate Britain activist have raised more than £8,500 to cover his rent while he is in prison.

Oliver Rock, a self-employed carpenter from Berkshire, is among nine Insulate Britain activists jailed after blockading the M25 in defiance of a High Court injunction in November.

His sister, Isabel Rock, said the fundraiser had “exceeded my wildest expectations”, with donations flooding in over the last two days.

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

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

Rock’s family appealed for help to cover his £700 per month rent and help him “get back on his feet” after his prison term.

Their target has since been exceeded, raising more than £8,500, with donations ranging from £1 to £2,000 from an anonymous donor.

Writing on the fundraising page, Ms Rock said she is “so proud” of her brother and described him as “kind hearted, generous and morally upstanding”.

She added: “Olly acted to protect the most vulnerable in society 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.”

So far, 161 people have been involved in Insulate Britain’s roadblock campaign and there have been more than 800 arrests.